History of the Department
The City of Jackson first formed its Police Department in 1873, which consisted of 8 officers, including the Chief of Police. The first Chief of the Jackson Police Department was Frank Standish, who served 2 years (1873 - 1875) and reported to the Mayor of the city. Each officer made $0.16 per hour, worked 10 hours per day, 7 days a week, making their job the most sought after in the city. The Chief of Police continued to report to the Mayor until a Police Commission was established in 1886, which was comprised of 3 members.
The Police Department remained at the County Building until 1952, when a new (and still current) station was built at 216 East Washington Avenue. But, the biggest change to come to the Jackson Police Department was through the partnering with the Regional Community Policing Institute (RCPI) of Michigan State University in 1999. This spurred the movement to employ a community-policing philosophy, which took several committees hundreds of hours to plan.
In 2002, the Police Department divided the city into 8 PACT areas, changing its focus to improving the quality of life for Jackson-area citizens by using a problem-solving method of fighting crime. In June of 2017, the current Director, Elmer J. Hitt, was appointed to oversee the sworn officers and civilian personnel that comprise the Jackson Police Department today.