Members of the Alexandria Police Department hold a banner marking the 150th anniversary of the department’s founding July 15 at police headquarters. Shown are: Sgt. Biruk Dessalegn, Officer Kirill Schipanov, Motor Officer Loren Smithwest, Lt. Chris G. Ware and Lt. Bart Bailey.
Photo by Janet Barnett/Gazette Packet
The Alexandria Police Department marked the 150th anniversary of its founding with an informal gathering July 15 at police headquarters.
“There are not a lot of agencies worldwide that are this old,” said Sgt. Biruk Dessalegn, a school resource supervisor. “It’s usually the larger agencies like New York or Philly that have been around this long so it is unique for a department of our size to be marking this milestone.”
The Alexandria Police Department was founded on July 15, 1870, with a captain, a lieutenant and 19 patrolmen. All officers were issued star-shaped tin badges but each had to supply their own uniforms and guns. In 1918, the Motor Unit was established with the purchase of one Harley-Davidson motorcycle for use in answering emergency calls.
“This department has an outstanding reputation,” said 26-year APD veteran Lt. Bart Bailey. “I take a lot of pride in working here. There have been a lot of rewards and a lot of challenges through the years but in the end it is all worth it.”
Sponsored by the Alexandria Police Foundation, the luncheon replaced a larger planned gathering that was canceled earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.