APD: Our Story
The Alexandria Police Department has a storied 150-year history as one of the oldest police departments in Virginia. After constables and night watchmen had protected Alexandria, Virginia, for nearly 100 years, the Alexandria Police Department was officially organized on July 15, 1870. When the city authorized a formal police department, the board of police elected a captain, a lieutenant, and 19 patrolmen. All officers were issued star-shaped tin badges, but they had to supply their own uniforms and guns.
The Department has seen a multitude of advancements over the years, with the establishment of technical crime scene investigative capabilities in the late 1920s, interoperability radio communications in the 1940s, community relations team in the 1960s and computer and 911 capabilities in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1959, it became one of the region's first police departments to have a canine team, and it was one of the first police departments in the U.S. to earn national accreditation in 1986. The Department has maintained its accreditation for more than 35 years.
Every single day, the 300+ officers of the Alexandria Police Department don their badge and exemplify the courage required of a law enforcement officer.