Alexandria Police Department Celebrates 150 Years of Service

The year 2020 marks 150 years since the Alexandria Police Department was formally organized, and APD will be commemorating this milestone throughout 2020.

Page updated on Mar 3, 2020 at 12:13 PM

APD plans to recognize its historic anniversary in several ways including special programs and tributes, issuance of official anniversary badges, promotion of historic facts through social media, and a large public event in July to mark the actual anniversary of the department’s founding on July 15, 1870.

Event details will be posted online and through social media as plans are finalized.

Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery

On February 19, APD members attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the history of the Alexandria Police Department and our past members.

Charles Herbert Grimm, the APD Youth Camp namesake, is buried at Arlington Cemetery. An Alexandria native, Grimm served with the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and was killed in action on February 19, 1945, during the first wave of attacks on the island of Iwo Jima. His father, Henry Grimm, served for many years as an APD Officer and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. Henry assisted in starting the Youth Camp and when the camp opened in 1947, the board decided to name it after Charles Herbert Grimm. Years later, Norman Grimm, his brother, started his career with APD. Norman Grimm retired as a Captain in 1976.

Several members of the Grimm family, including Norman, his grandson Deputy Chief Daniel Grimm of the Fairfax City Police Department and his great niece Deputy Emily Morris of the Alexandria Sheriff's Office, were present as the APD Honor Guard placed a wreath at the grave of Charles Herbert Grimm.

The Honor Guard then honored fallen Officer August “Perry” Pierce, killed in the line of duty on September 7, 1930, by laying a wreath at his Arlington gravesite.

APD Arlington Wreath Laying

At the City Council Legislative Meeting on January 14, the Mayor and City Council presented a proclamation honoring APD's 150th anniversary.

APD 150th Proclamation

When an act by Alexandria’s Board of Alderman and Common Council officially authorized the Alexandria Police Department in 1870, it also clearly specified the badge symbolizing the officers’ authority. The act stated that each “policeman and officer shall wear a badge in the form of a star, made of block tin, not less than two and a half inches in diameter, and numbered in the centre, which said badges shall be furnished at the cost of the city, and be delivered up by all persons using the same when their official connection with the police force cease.”

This original design is the inspiration for the commemorative badge, which Chief Michael L. Brown has authorized officers to wear from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. In addition, during July 2020, officers will be permitted to wear a different badge which has the date July 15, 1870. Both designs appear below.

APD 150th Badges