The Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officially began in 1861 after the city was granted power to police itself in 1802. Prior to this, the city was policed by constables from Maryland and Virginia since 1790. The original police force consisted of 15 officers and one captain.
This police force was created after President Lincoln instigated an investigation by New York City's police to determine the number of officers needed for the district. This was near the beginning of the Civil War, during a time of great unrest in the country and the need for public policing was becoming more and more evident.
Divisions of Washington D.C. Police
The specialized units and divisions of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department include the following: air support unit; arrest and criminal history section; Asian liaison unit; civil rights and force investigations branch; community outreach; criminal interdiction unit; deaf and hard of hearing liaison unit; diversity and equal employment opportunity compliance branch; domestic violence unit; evidence control branch; family liaison specialist unit; financial crimes and fraud unit; firearms and fingerprint examination division; firearms registration unit; grants unit; harbor patrol; homeland security bureau; investigative services bureau; major case victims unit; internal affairs bureau; sexual assault unit; victim services branch and youth and family services division.
There are seven districts within the police department, and it allows citizens to file reports online and view the sex offender registry at no cost. Officers also provide online photos of recovered property in investigations, and offer the ability to text dispatch in event of an emergency.
Requesting Washington D.C. Police Records
Washington D.C. police records are available to individuals named in the record for a fee of $3-$7. If you need a copy of a police report or clearance, you must request it in person or via mail.