History

Law enforcement took off to a dramatic start when the City of Davis incorporated on March 28, 1917 with a population of 978 inhabitants. Immediately following the official act, the first Board of Trustees enacted 16 city ordinances, ranging from banishing all livestock from the city streets and sidewalks, to prohibiting the littering of the streets with such things as paper, filth, and sweepings from the stores.

The first known Police facility was an old "plank jail" located adjacent to the courtroom of the justice of the peace on the east side of Oak Street, somewhere south of what eventually became the now historic City Hall and Police Department at 226 F Street. Prior to that, most people who ran afoul of the law were placed in the American Hotel at the southwest corner of Olive and Second Streets, presently known as Third and G Streets.

The first City Marshal was appointed sometime in 1917 by the Board of Trustees. An early Davisville resident, Jesus Pena, assumed those responsibilities. In addition to enforcing the newly enacted city ordinances, he had the job of wetting down the streets of Davis with a horse-drawn water wagon during the hot and dusty summer months.

The first recorded justices of the peace in Davisville were William H. Marden in the South Putah Township, with Charles E. Green holding the same office in the north area. Davis' first justice of the peace was William H. Scott, who held office from 1899, and was reported to have held court in a barber shop on Main Street until 1942.

Davis's first full-time, paid police officer, Floyd Gattrell was hired in June of 1927. He was hired as a traffic officer and patrolled the streets on an early-model Harley Davidson motorcycle. On December 15, 1927, with the population of Davis swelling to approximately 1,000 inhabitants, the Board of Trustees appointed Gattrell as Davis' first Police Chief.

 

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