Police Department History

  1. Before the 1900s
  2. After the 1900s

The First Police Officer

The Village of Riverside was incorporated on July 10, 1875, and the new Village Board did not waste any time in appointing a police officer. On August 16, 1875 Charles A. Teale became the Village’s first police officer earning him a $30 monthly salary. 

Some of Officer Teale’s duties included acting as Village Pound Master; this required he round up stray cattle, fowl, swine, and sheep that were running loose within the village and placing them in an old barn located where the current Township Hall stands today.  Owners were then fined $1 to be able to retrieve their animals from the pound. Officer Teale held the position of police officer for 2 years. 

The Department Expands

The village then went through 3 officers during the next 2 years until May 5, 1879 when they hired Oliver Kelly, who became the first officer to receive benefits with employment. Officer Kelly received a monthly salary of $50 along with living quarters that included free water. Kelly was the first to receive a uniform allowance that provided him with a free summer and winter uniform with overcoat at a cost of $69. 

Kelly was given the authority to hire special police officers when warranted from time to time. One of those officers was Charles Lange who became one of the most beloved police officers in Village history.  

Officer Lange

Charles Lange was hired as a police officer in 1887 during a time when the town’s population reached 900. Lange was immediately promoted to Sergeant and his duties were expanded compared to prior officers. Some of Lange’s duties included serving water shut off notices for delinquent water bills, collection of dog licenses and peddler fees, and overseeing the lighting of the street lamps.  

Throughout the village, each street lamp had to be lit by hand every day at dusk and extinguished in the following morning. Officer Lange patrolled the village on his bicycle and in the winter in a horse drawn carriage. Officer Lange knew everyone’s name and everyone knew him. Officer Charles Lange proudly served Riverside for 40 years and retired as a Captain.