WPD History

Westminster Police Department History

The first settler of the area now known as the Town of Westminster was Fairbanks Moor, who arrived in March 1737. On October 20, 1759, Westminster was incorporated as a town.

The first representation of law enforcement in Westminster came about in 1783 in the form of a Deputy Sheriff. This position was held by a single person for an undetermined amount of time. In 1895 two Constables were elected, L.S. Miller and J.W. Towle acting on a part time basis and collecting a combined yearly salary of $14.00. In 1910 the town was safeguarded by four constables, one who acted as the dog officer and special police officer. The Constable's duties included minor law enforcement, executor of civil process for local justice court, tax collector, and issuer of election notices. The income of each constable was determined by his duties, which were limited, as well as the collection of fees. Because of the limited amount of work and availability of funds, a constable would require a separate occupation as a source of livelihood.   

In 1922 Harold A. Towle was elected as Westminster's first single-acting Constable. Approximately, in 1932, Emory V. Raymond was assigned the duties as Chief of Police. Chief Raymond dispensed the first annual police chief report for the Town of Westminster in 1933. In 1936 Hebert Battles became Chief of Police and also served as Constable, Truant Officer and Dog Officer. In 1941 Harold Towle assumed the position of Chief and was succeeded by Peter V. Arcangeli a short time later.

In 1946 Toivo Tuominen took on the role of Chief of Police and Constable. The expense for the department that year was $489.98. In 1951 a police radio with a mobile transmitter was added to the department, and considered advancement for the department's capabilities. Then in 1958 a telephone with an automatic answering system was installed in the home of Chief Tuominen. That same year the department added three special police officers. In 1959 Chief Tuominen reported the year as the busiest year ever for the department. Chief Toivo Tuominen retained the position until his retirement in July, 1970.   

Eino N. Salo was named acting Chief until 1971, when Robert R. Cudak was appointed as permanent Chief of Police. Chief Cudak held the position until May, 2003. During the departments thirty plus years under the direction of Chief Cudak, it made great strides to keep up with the times. The addition of two way radios, full time police officers, a civilian dispatch center was considered sophisticated for a small town. In 1996 the police department moved into its long overdue Public Safety Complex. This helped the department catch up with the demands and needs of the town.

In April, 2003 Salvatore Albert was named Chief of Police. To date the police department consists of 13 full time officers within it's ranks. The department continues to provide a personalized service that is lost within city environments and attempts to provide proactive community policing.