History

Within a month of its February 21, 1895 founding, the City of Central Falls held its first elections. Upon taking office, Charles P. Moises, the city’s first mayor, nominated the first officers for his newly-created police department.

Chief of Police David R. Goldsmith and his sergeant, Merril S. Louks, worked with patrolmen Samuel Harkness, James T. Hanrahan, Mason N. Bagley, Oliver Sylvester, Joseph Couture, Nelson B. Coombs, Joseph McCra, Napoleon Hebert, John Walsh, Joseph W. Whipple and William Stafford, along with Matron Miss Mary Fitz.

Working out of the first police headquarters, which later became the fire station on Cross street, Chief Goldsmith oversaw the 6am to 6pm day shift with two patrolmen. The remaining officers worked the night shift with Sgt. Louks.

With Central Falls’ growth fueled by immigrants seeking work in the burgeoning mills, police work in this increasingly congested, culturally-segregated city offered many challenges. And with no motor patrol or horse-drawn vehicles available in the early years, on many occasions the officers had to carry drunks from the area of arrest to the jail house (known then as a “bridewell,” named after a former palace-turned-prison under King Henry VIII).

In 1914, the Central Falls Police Department moved its headquarters from Cross Street to a newly-constructed building on Broad Street, sharing its space with the 11th District Court (which in time would become the 5th District Court). Sixty-four years later, the headquarters would relocate to its present home at 160 Illinois Street.

This website is dedicated to the men and women of the Central Falls Police Department who serve our culturally-rich community. The dedication and commitment of those who have come before and those who continue to serve reflect a rich history and proud tradition.

The First members of the Central Falls Police Department (1895)

Central Falls Police Baseball Team (1911)

Central Falls Police Chiefs

Name Started Ended
ANDREW J. PATT*
1875
12/02/1895
DAVID R. GOLDSMITH
12/02/1895
08/03/1899
NAPOLEON LAMBERT
11/20/1899
08/16/1907
RAY C. HULING
08/16/1907
03/10/1908
JAMES McCARTHY
03/10/1908
03/16/1931
JOSEPH A. CHAPUT
03/19/1931
05/08/1933
GEORGE E. COLLETTE
05/08/1933
11/14/1946
JOSEPH P. STETKIEWICZ
11/14/1946
07/27/1968
ROLAND G. MERCIER
09/25/1968
12/08/1976
JAMES F. GALLIGAN
01/21/1977
01/30/1986
ROBERT CHOQUETTE
04/18/1986
06/12/1990
ROBERT E. SASSO
07/20/1990
08/01/1995
THOMAS MOFFATT
08/01/1995
11/20/1998
ALAN R. DeNARO
04/19/1999
10/23/2002
THOMAS K. WILSON
01/13/2003
05/12/2004
JOSEPH P. MORAN III
12/28/2004
09/23/2011
JAMES J. MENDONCA**
09/23/2011
PRESENT
* After Central Falls separated from the Town of Smithfield in 1875, the Selectmen of the Town of Lincoln appointed Patt as the first “captain of police” of Central Falls.
** Served as Acting Chief from 09/23/2011 until 01/10/2013
 
 

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