Dartmouth Police Department Celebrating 100 Years
The Dartmouth Police Department is celebrating its centennial this year and will mark the occasion with a special Policeman's Ball in October.
According to its official website, The Dartmouth Police Department was established on March 6, 1922, by voters approving Town Meeting Article 59." The issue before voters was "To see if the town will vote to accept the provisions of Chapter 41 Section 100 of MGL relative to the establishment of a police department."
It did, and the rest is history.
Before the establishment of a police department, "law enforcement for the town was conducted by appointed Constables and privately paid police officers," according to the website.
Dartmouth's first police chief was John Baxter. Baxter resigned after less than a year and was replaced by Thomas W. Barnes, who served as chief from 1923-1927.
According to the Department's website, Barnes resigned when several officers threatened to quit "due to a gun battle in January 1925 that took place between Max Fox and his rum-runners and bootleggers at the Bergeron Farm on Old Fall River Road."
There were a number of injuries but Dartmouth Police officers emerged unharmed. Several suspects were later apprehended in New Bedford.
In 1947, Dartmouth Police investigated the theft of the 11th-largest diamond in the world. "The Armarti diamond (31.31 carats) was stolen at gunpoints from the home of Patricia Armarti," according to the site.
The Armarti diamond was never recovered, but three men were arrested in connection with the heist and sentenced to prison.
Christina Styan wrote a piece for the Standard-Times in 2014 about an exhibit on the rich history of the Dartmouth Police.
The Dartmouth Police 100th Anniversary Policeman's Ball will be held Saturday, October 1, 2022 at White's of Westport. Tickets can be obtained here or by following the instructions on the Dartmouth Police 100 Anniversary Facebook Page.
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