Vernon Police Department History
The Vernon Police Department is committed to excellence and the delivery of professional police services. We will work in partnership with the community to enhance the quality of life, and promote a feeling of safety and security for all residents. The department is committed to providing its members with the best training and equipment available to perform its mission.
A call to service
Few careers offer more opportunities for self-fulfillment than service as a police officer.
What is the job of a police officer? Is it crime fighting? Service provider? Homeland security agent? Peacekeeper? Mental health worker? Community problem solver? The answer is "Yes." Today's police officer must perform all of these tasks on a daily basis. While the stereotypical job of crime fighting is an essential role, it is not the most prevalent, and in the view of many, not the most important.
Odds are, as a police officer, you will spend far more time engaged in problem solving issues and services. Those who are looking for a career filled with the type of daily edge-of-your-seat excitement depicted on television will be disappointed. While the dangers of the job are real, and you will be expertly trained to respond to any situation, the heart of policing lies in daily interactions with the people we serve.
Today, the focus of police work has shifted from crime fighting to a more community oriented style of policing and problem solving. Sometimes through the problem solving process we are able to determine the problem is not a police matter or "solve" the problem without the need for criminal arrests.
Policing is a job that will bring out the best in you and make you more than you are right now. It is a job with serious responsibilities, but the reward is having a job that really counts. Policing will ask a lot of you, but it will give you so much in return.
As a law enforcement officer, you will join the ranks of a storied profession that dates back centuries. Modern policing is a great mix of tried and true methods combined with application of the latest cutting-edge theories and technologies. The profession is growing and advancing to meet the needs of the 21st century environment.
Opportunities in law enforcement extend beyond basic employment. Today, the role of police is evolving to encompass broader areas of influence, from local community problems to global terrorist attacks. To meet this need, approaches to policing are not what they used to be. Today, more and more agencies are moving away from traditional reactive methods and are emphasizing community and intelligence-based policing. The impact an officer can have on a community goes far beyond arrest and prosecution of criminals. The focus is on problem solving, analysis, and collaboration among community groups and other police agencies.
A solemn oath
On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust.
I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions.
I will always uphold the constitution, my community and the agency I serve.
-Law Enforcement Oath of Honor
Our History: More than a Century of Service
It began with four officers
The first organized police department in Vernon was established in 1890 and was known as the Rockville Police Department. At the time of its creation, only four men made up the force. Law enforcement in rural Vernon was the responsibility of local constables.
In 1965, the Rockville Police Department and the Vernon constables consolidated and the Vernon Police Department was established. Today, more than 50 highly trained officers are dedicated to providing the highest quality service and protection to the people of Vernon.
Today, the Vernon Police Department consists of 50 officers and detectives committed to providing Vernon residents and those who visit our community the highest level of professional service.
Captain William Cady
April 1, 1890 - June 30, 1907
Captain Cady was the first Captain of the Rockville Police Department. When the department was established, the rank of Captain was the highest rank in the department. The Mayor of the city was the Chief of police, ex-officio. Captain Cady served the city of Rockville for 17 years before his sudden death from a heart attack while on duty.
Captain Leopold Krause
Captain Krause began his career with the Rockville Police Department in 1904 as a Supernumerary. In 1907, he was appointed as a full time Officer. In 1910 he was appointed to the rank of Captain and worked in that position until his retirement.
CAPTAIN RICHARD E. SHEA
November 7, 1932 - August 26, 1936
Captain Shea began his career with the Rockville Police Department in 1909 as a Supernumerary. In 1916, he was appointed as a full time Officer. In 1932, he was appointed to the rank of Captain and worked in the position until his death from failing health in 1936.
CHIEF GEORGE A. TRAPP
August 17, 1963 -September 14, 1968
Chief Trapp began his career with the Rockville Police Department in 1948. In 1955 he became the first Detective Sergeant of the police department. In March 1963, he was promoted to the newly created rank of Lieutenant. In August 1963, he became the Chief of Police for the Rockville Police Department. He remained the Chief when the City of Rockville and the Town of Vernon consolidated in 1965. Chief Trapp became the Chief of Police for the Vernon Police Department and remained in this position until his retirement in 1968.
Chief Herman Fritz
May 24, 1974 - December 14, 1984
Chief Fritz began his career with the Rockville Police Department in 1963 as an Officer. In 1967, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant with the Vernon Police Department. In 1974, he was appointed as the Chief of Police and worked in this position until his retirement in 1984.
Chief Gary G. Kology
August 1, 1987 - August 1, 1993
Chief Kology began his career with the Vernon Police Department in 1970 as an officer. In 1977, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and later to the rank of Detective Sergeant. In 1983, he was promoted to Lieutenant and then promoted to Captain in 1984. In 1987, he was appointed as the Chief of Police and worked in this position until his retirement in 1993.
Chief James L. Kenny
January 5, 2007 - July 9, 2021
Chief Kenny began his career with the Glastonbury Police Department in 1985 as an officer. He rose through the ranks to Lieutenant and then retired after being appointed Captain of the Vernon Police Department. Several months later, on January 5, 2007, he was appointed Vernon Chief of Police. Chief Kenny retired July 8, 2021.
CAPTAIN EDWARD J. KANE
July 31, 1907 - July 29, 1910
CAPTAIN STEPHEN J. TOBIN
October 1, 1919 - September 28, 1932
Captain Tobin began his career with the Rockville Police Department in 1904 as a Supernumerary. In 1910, he was appointed as a full time officer. In 1919, he was appointed to the rank of Captain and worked in this position until his death from a heart attack in 1932.
CHIEF PETER J. DOWGEWICZ
November 1, 1936 - August 17, 1963
Chief Dowgewicz began his career with the Rockville Police Department in 1923 as a Supernumerary. In 1928, he was appointed as a full time Officer. In 1932, he was appointed to the rank of Captain. On December 4, 1962 a referendum was approved to make the position of Chief of Police. Peter Dowgewicz became the first Chief of Police for the Rockville Police Department and worked in the position until his retirement in 1963.
Chief Edmund F. Dwyer
September 16, 1968 - January 31, 1974
Chief Dwyer began his career with the Vernon Police Department in 1953 as the only full time Officer in the Town of Vernon. In 1955, he was appointed as the Chief Constable. On July 1, 1965, upon consolidation of the Rockville and Vernon Police Departments, he was appointed as Deputy Chief of Police and worked this position until his retirement in 1974.
CHIEF JAMES M. THOMAS
January 5, 1985 - August 1, 1987
Chief Thomas began his career with the Glastonbury Police Department in 1969 as an Officer. He rose through the ranks of the department until he reached the position of Lieutenant. In 1984, he retired from the Glastonbury Police Department and was appointed as the Vernon Chief of Police. In 1987, he resigned as Chief and returned to the Glastonbury Police Department to serve as Chief.
Chief Rudolf Rossmy
January 3, 1994 - January 5, 2007
Chief Rossmy began his career with the Streamwood, Ill. Police Department in 1973 as an officer. He rose through the ranks to Deputy Chief and retired in 1994 after being appointed as the Vernon Chief of Police. He worked this position until his retirement in 2007.