Police Department History
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HISTORY BEHIND THE BADGE
Facts and Information on the history of the Riverside Police Department and its origin are few and far between. Most of the information below has been provided by the Riverside Historical Society.
As Riverside’s popularity grew as a “resort town” after being founded as Progress by Samuel Bechtold in 1851, so did the need to keep peace and good order. Keeping of the peace during that time was done by constables. The primary responsibility of a constable was the service of legal papers and dealing with weights and measures. They were also responsible for the arrest of persons for minor offenses. Arresting violent offenders was often dealt with by gathering a group of armed men.
According to limited records, constables served until 1921 when the first Chief of Police, Chief William Voshell was established. Riverside did not have an official “lock up” until August of 1912. The “lock up,” or holding cell, was officially dedicated New Year’s Day of 1913. The “lock up” has been refurbished several times since the original dedication and is still in use today by the police department. The police station was renovated in 2009 and now occupies the entire ground floor of the municipal building while the court and court offices occupy the second floor.
Presently, the Riverside Police Department employs 15 full-time officers and one part-time records clerk. The full-time officers include the Chief of Police, a Captain, Lieutenant, two Sergeants, nine Patrolman, one School Resource Officer and three Class II Officers.
The Riverside Police Department has received numerous awards in recognition of the quality service provided to its residents as well as surrounding law enforcement agencies. Recognized by the New Jersey General Assembly, the Riverside Police Department has adopted an award-winning community policing philosophy. We have received awards from NHTSA and NJSACOP for underage alcohol prevention and traffic safety and the New Jersey Attorney General Community Policing Award. Other awards Include Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), ASIS International, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Anti-Defamation League, and the Burlington County 200 Club. In 2011 The Riverside Police Department was voted the Courier Post’s, “Reader’s Choice Best of South Jersey.”