Saginaw Township Police Department History
Prior to the formation of Saginaw Township Police Department, an elected constable provided for limited law enforcement services. On February 16, 1959 Laverne Clark was elected as the first constable for Saginaw Township. In 1961, Gordon Towne joined Constable Clark. These two men worked part time and enforced primarily local ordinances and liquor laws.
As Saginaw Township began to grow, the township board hired its first part time police officer, John Peplinski on April 25, 1963. Officer Peplinski was under the supervision of the fire department. He did not actually patrol the streets, but rather would follow up on local complaints that the township board received. On June 26, 1963 another part time police officer, Raymond Arnold, was hired. He was paid $2.00 per hour and could only work when requested to do so by the township supervisor.
On July 15, 1963 the township board authorized the purchase of six badges and provided uniforms to the two current officers and future officers. Traffic complaints and speeders seemed to be the big problem facing the young department.
A Speed-alyzer unit was purchased in November so that officers could write citations to speeding motorists. The speed limit on State Street was 45 mph, but most motorists were clocked at travelling 55 mph. Constable Clark recommended that the township board lower the speed to 35 mph. During the early years of the police department, the constable and officers used their own vehicles for patrol.
On March 23, 1964 Constable Clark was offered a full time police officer position at
$6,000 per year. Constable Clark becomes the first full time police officer for Saginaw Township Police Department. Later in the year, Officer Clark becomes the first Chief of Police and reports to the board that so far this year he had handled 44 vehicle accidents with 28 of the accidents occurring on State Street. He felt that the speed limit on State Street was too high and was the cause of many of the accidents.
Over the next two years, six more officers were added to the police department. Some were part time. For the first time, the department was able to offer 24 hour police protection on a daily basis to the growing community of 15,000 plus residents.
In 1967, eleven more part-time officers were added to the department and wages were increased to $2.50 per hour. The department was beginning to grow along with the community that it served.
Today, Saginaw Township Police Department has 45 full-time police officers and 5 fulltime clerical staff members. The department has grown into a full service police agency and offers an extensive array of services.
Badge HistoryClick HERE
Patrol Vehicle History
Police Chief History