Upton Police Department – History Development


The Upton Police Department officially began in 1890 when Selectmen appointed the first Acting Police Chief, William Parshley. Prior to 1890, the Town of Upton was protected by Marshals and Constables, who were undoubtedly kept busy in Upton. The town, with it’s several hat and box mills recruited young women to work who stayed in local hotels and boarding houses. These ladies were “courted” by interested young gentlemen from area towns, and their pursuits earned Upton the distinction of “Capertown” , for the escapades that resulted.

In 1923, Chief Parshley stepped down, and Mr. Benjamin Crooker became the Acting Chief of Police, serving until 1927. In 1927, Mr. Daniel Bates was appointed acting Chief of Police. Chief Bates assembled several members of the community to serve as part time Police Officers, who would respond from their farms and jobs when needed. Mr. Bates established the police station at his home on Main Street. Patrolmen on patrol would frequently drive by the “station” in the evening and would know that there was a call to respond to if the Chief turned on his outside light; they would stop in and get the call information from him. Acting Chief Bates served until 1947 when he was appointed “Part Time” Chief. Chief Bates served as a role model and stern disciplinarian to many generations of Upton’s children and all recall him fondly remembering him as a stern fatherly man who tolerated no nonsense and inspired them to good citizenship.

On December 31, 1965, Chief Bates stepped down and was replaced as Part Time Chief by Rudolph Scholl. Chief Scholl was appointed as Full Time Chief in 1965. Also in 1965, the Police Department hired it’s first woman Police Officer, Dorothy Bishop; the Police Department also moved into the lower section of Town Hall. It was open 16 hours a day, and at night, the phone rang in Chief Scholl’s home. In 1966 Patrolman Rodney Marchand was appointed a full time Sergeant. In 1968, the Town appointed it’s first full time patrol officer and began 24-hour patrolling. In 1969, Chief Scholl resigned, and Sergeant Marchand was appointed Chief of Police. Part Time Patrol Officer Samuel Aldrich was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

In 1969, the Upton Police Department became a full time, 24 hour a day operation with a dispatcher on duty all night at the Police Station. This dispatcher also dispatched for all town departments, including the Highway, Fire, and Water departments. As of 1969, the Upton Police Department consisted of a Chief, a Sergeant, and part time Police Officers. In 1971, the department added a full time Patrolman through financing from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, this position was later funded by the town. In 1975, another Patrolman was added via the Comprehensive Employment Training Act, which was also later funded by the Town.

In 1978, the cadre of dispatchers became known as the Communications Department, to recognize their function as a town service. In 1985, Stewart Whitney was appointed Chief of Police. In 1987 the Police Department had grown to a force including: Chief, Lieutenant, Sergeant, 3 Patrolmen, nineteen part time officers, 6 female matrons, 27 special officers, 3 full time dispatchers, 8 part time dispatchers, 5 constables, and 3 Selectmen as Police Commissioners.

In December 1989, Chief Robert Miller was appointed, and the position of Lieutenant was dropped, a Sergeant was added to bring the department’s complement to 2 full time Sergeants, 5 full time Patrolmen, 3 full time dispatchers. There were 9 part time officers, 5 part time dispatchers, 11 special officers, and 3 crossing guards. In 1996 Sergeant Thomas Stockwell was appointed Chief of Police.

In 2004, the Upton Police Department consists of a Chief, 3 Sergeants, 8 full-time Patrolmen, and 4 full-time Communications Officers. The Department has a School Resource Officer, Bicycle Patrol and a newly organized Citizen Emergency Response Team.