The Jefferson County Police Department was established in February 1868. Two years prior, Jefferson County had been divided into sixteen voting and police patrol precincts with names that ring familiar today: Boston, Fisherville, Jeffersontown, Middletown, Harrods Creek, Gilmans, Hay's Spring, Crossroads, Woods, Lower Ponds, Shardine, Cane Run, Blankenbaker, Spring Gardens, Shively and Two-Mile House.
An officer in 1902 was paid $10 extra per month for furnishing a horse for patrol duties. By 1920, the department obtained its first Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Stretcher cars were on the scene in 1938.
On March 29, 1940, the Jefferson County Police Department was the first county police department in Kentucky to be fully equipped with a two-way radio system. Five years later, the strength of the department was at 120 men and 15 two-way radio cars. The department had grown to 501 sworn officers and 244 civilian employees and patrolled more than 365 square miles serving the 400,000 residents of Jefferson County residing outside the Louisville city limits.
Over the years, the department has responded to a wide range of public safety issues, from armed robberies to homicides to public crises such as the tornado of 1974, the 1975 busing protests and the flood of 1997. The department had learned a great deal in responding to these issues and had evolved into one of the finest police departments in the country.
May 1, 1780 - County of Jefferson was chartered and the city of Louisville was named by the Virginia Legislature.
February 1, 1868 - The Jefferson County Police Department (JCPD) was established.
April 19, 1902 - Officers furnishing horses for patrol duties were given $10 extra per month "on account of expense of keeping and maintaining the same".
July 1, 1904 - Patrolman pay was raised from $40 to $60 with a stoppage of payment for use of their horse.
October 18, 1918 - Harry Kendall becomes the first Chief of Police to be granted use of a county car "for the more efficient discharge of his duties".
May 15, 1933 - County approved purchase of a police "motor boat for river patrol at a rental of $75 per month for a period of five months. . ." following a letter from Chief Ambrose Hagerman citing 18 deaths during 1931 and none in 1932 when the police department used rowboats to patrol the river.
June 24, 1942 - Fiscal Court approves the increase in personnel from 61 to 75 to allow men off one day.
January 3, 1951 - Southern Police Institute begins operation.
February 4, 1961 - Order issued that when two officers ride toegther, one will stay in the car while the other eats.
December 8, 1969 - Jefferson County Police Department receives a raise equal to the Louisville Police Department.
1971 - The Air Patrol Unit was formed in response to rooftop burglaries and was funded by a grant by the Kentucky Crime Commission. In this same year, the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWATT) was formed.
September 1, 1973 - Patrolman Debbie Burns became the first uniformed female to ride a beat in the entire history of the department.
September 5, 1975 - The Federal Court ordered school busing which caused protests in Valley Station and Okolona.
August 1981 - Kentucky Law Enforcement Council approved JCPD to perform annual in-service training.
June 18, 1984 - Chief Edgar Helm approved the 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and was required for all new recruits thereafter.
June 1987 - David District was formed after realigning the existing districts, Adam, Baker and Charlie.
October 1990 - Metro Narcotics Unit was formed with Jefferson County, Louisville, Shively and Jeffersontown police departments.
1991 - Law and Order Magazine recognizes JCPD as having the best designed police cruiser.
May 15, 1993 - Jefferson County Police Headquarters moved from the Hall of Justice at 600 West Jefferson to its pre-merger location at 768 Barret Avenue.
January 7, 1999 - Departmental reorganization began under the leadership of the newly appointed Chief William S. Carcara.
August 3, 1999 - JCPD was certified by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to conduct their own 20 week, 800 hour recruit academy.
May 2000 - Law and Order Magazine awards JCPD 2nd place for best website design.