History of CFPD

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, Olivier Sylvestre, 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.

Serving the community since 1875

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.

Central Falls Police Chiefs

JAMES J. MENDONCA** - 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