On January 7, 1924, the Kutztown Borough Council appointed George B. Kohler as police patrolman of the Borough of Kutztown. Kutztown Borough council deemed it necessary for traffic control and set a salary of $35.00 per month for Patrolman Kohler. Patrolman Kohler was also given a cap and overcoat to be worn when on duty that would remain the property of the Borough of Kutztown.
On February 7, 1961, Kutztown Borough Council officially established the Kutztown Police Department, under the direct supervision of the Mayor. It provided for a chief of police, sergeant and patrolman ranks. At the time of establishment, the police department had one car and a force of three policemen. A fourth policeman was considered, but the additional expense of $2500.00 per year was thought to be excessive for the additional services provided. Kutztown Borough Council did permit four emergency policemen to be appointed and utilized only as needed at a salary of $1.35 per hour. Police duties included checking the sewage disposal plant every two hours and checking the reservoir at midnight and 3:30 a.m. (In times of extreme rain, these areas were checked hourly.) Additional duties included protection for the school children crossing at Main and Noble Streets, and Constitution Boulevard and Normal Avenue. The school crossing duties were soon supplemented by local women working as part-time safety patrol officers.
Early Police Department records show drag racing on College Boulevard, making U turns on Main Street and College Boulevard, littering on Whiteoak Street and misusing the basketball court on Lambert Alley to be concerns. Additionally, any policeman using the new 1960 Buick Patrol car to push another car would be suspended without pay for two weeks.
The first location of the Police Department was the Old Town Hall with a lockup located in the back. In 1960, the police moved to 211-213 West Main Street. the Roeller Alley police station was added in 1971 due to the growth of the department and the need for additional room. In 1989 when the Borough Municipal Building was completed, the Police Department moved to its current location in the basement.
Today, the Kutztown Borough Police Department consists of eleven full-time police officers consisting of a Chief of Police, Sergeant, Corporal, Criminal Investigator, seven Patrol Officers, a police secretary, and five Community Service Officers.
The Police Department is equipped with ten patrol vehicles (seven marked and three unmarked) and an Special Response Vehicle equipped to serve as a Command Post in emergencies. We also operate an automated records system, advanced duplex communications system, and a staff of well trained professionals.
We take pride in our progressive department. The Kutztown Borough Police Department was the first police department in Berks County to operate a mobile data system providing motor vehicle information and reports to the patrol vehicles in the field setting the standard for the eventual county-wide mobile data system in use today.