Kensington Police Department
The Contra Costa County Sheriff assigned a deputy to patrol Kensington beginning in 1937 as the community developed. Private patrol services were also contracted to provide coverage in coming years until the actual police department was formed in 1947.
The Kensington Police Department was established in 1947 under the guidance of the first Kensington Chief of Police, Alton Boley (portrait of Bowley as a young man).
The group photo shown was taken in 1953 with the second chief, Kendrick, and his offices and board of directors. The uniform worn shows the first issue badge and patch for the agency.
The first police station was actually rented office space in a building shared by a real estate office as seen in that photo. The front curb was painted red and reserved for their two patrol cars. They would operate from this location until the 1970s when a new combined fire station and police headquarters was completed less than a block away.
Chief Kendrick served as the second police chief for the district. the third, George Yool, was appointed to replace Kendrick in 1953. Chief Yool would serve in this capacity until his retirement when Walt Gist became the fourth Kensington Police Chief.
These photos show officers in the training environment.
Officer Bill Beard is shown in this photo.
Louise Farley served as the Kensington Police Department's policewoman (this title is long gone but the position was very important). She took care of office and clerical needs, booked female arrestees, and rode with an officer to escort female arrestees to the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez. In her absence, an officer's wife was called in to handle the escort duty.
The new combined police station and fire house was developed in 1970, taking the fire station away from right next-door to a gas station, which posed a great danger, and this building brought the police department out from rented office space. Today, consideration is being made in reconstructing this building to meet earthquake standards or new construction in another location.
Chief George Yool was appointed the third police chief and continued as chief until the early 1970s.