In 1922, there were six county constables enforcing laws in the county but each had arrest powers only in the particular election districts to which they were assigned. The Sheriff and his deputies provided the only county-wide law enforcement. This changed in April 1922, when the Maryland legislature directed the County Commissioners to appoint six “constables at large” to be known as the Montgomery County Police.
On July 4, 1922, five officers and a Chief were installed as the first Montgomery County Police Officers. They were appointed to two year non-merit commissions renewable at the discretion of the county commissioners. For several years, since there was no police station, the officers would meet on the steps of the courthouse at 2:00 p.m. every day. The five officers drove motorcycles, while the Chief drove a Ford coupe.
Today, more than 1,200 sworn officers assisted by 600 support personnel provide full service to large suburban county with a population of over 1 million people.
This photo was taken at the Independence Day Celebration in 1922 in front of Reed Brothers Dodge.
Pictured left to right: Earl Burdine, Lawrence Clagett, Guy Jones, Chief Charles Cooley, Leroy Rodgers, and Oscar Gaither.