When the La Porte Police
Department was officially formed on March 1, 1910, the police
station was located at 709 Madison Street where the non-smoking
section of Louie's Restaurant is located today. It was at that
location until 1912. It was then moved to 713 Indiana Avenue where
it was located until 1926.
While at 709 Madison
Street the department had 2 telephones and a switchboard. The police
had no motorized vehicles then. All police patrol was foot patrol.
The police department’s first motorized vehicle was a motorcycle
purchased in 1912. The second motorized vehicle purchased in 1912
was a Studebaker car.
Sgt. Cochrane was the
dayshift Sergeant and he worked from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The night
shift Sergeant was Sergeant Hohman and he worked from 7:00 PM to
6:00 AM. There are no known records indicating which officers
worked which shifts. Their only communication to the station and to
the officers was by telephone. The officers checked in every 6
minutes by calling the station.
If you needed a police
officer and you had a telephone, remember that not everyone had
phones back then, you dialed “1” and that got you the police
department. If you had no phone you had to get to the police station
by bike, car, foot or horseback and make your report. Or you looked
for one of the officers out on foot patrol and made contact with one
of them. Their whole force would not make up one of our patrol
shifts today as we typically have at least ten officers on a
shift. It is believed that the police handled 30 to 40 complaints a
year. Over the last few years we have averaged anywhere from 28, 000
to 31,000 complaints per year!