Welcome to the New Bedford Police Department
On behalf of the men and women of the New Bedford Police Department, I would like to personally welcome you to our department’s website. It’s our hope that this site will provide you with a greater understanding of the services that the department provides to our community. Additionally, we will continue to work to update our web page with information that all members of the community will find useful and important. Our goal is to keep our community members familiar with the many officers, individuals and activities of the New Bedford Police Department…[read more]
History of the Police Department
In 1794, the first organized police force in New Bedford was created to protect against theft. The men were called Watchmen and protected businesses and gardens. The group was named the Bedford Association.
As New Bedford grew, largely in part to its whaling industry, so did the need for a more organized police force. In 1824, the Bedford Association became the Night Watch. Their primary focus became preventing robberies in the businesses.
In 1847 the village of New Bedford was officially incorporated. The need for a more organized policing force led to the Night Watch becoming police constables led by Henry Hathaway. Henry Hathaway is more famous for helping John Boyle O’Reilly escape a penal colony in Western Australia in 1869. Learn more here.
From 1847 to 1876, the constables patrolled the city at night protecting the businesses. In 1876 the New Bedford Police Department was officially formed….. [read more]