Delaware State Police History

Delaware State Police History

The Formation, Development and Work of the Delaware State Police: A Teacher's Guide

Delaware State Police History

The Formation, Development and Work of the Delaware State Police: A Teacher’s Guide

CHAPTER ONE, titled PRECEDENTS is about natural law and law enforcement as it was in prehistoric societies and the earliest legal and ethical codes of ancient civilizations ; The Code Of Hammurabi, The Ten Commandments, Greek law and the Laws Of Twelve Tables, the foundation of the Roman Republic. It describes how English Common Law came to be and how the American Colonies and then the United States of America adopted its tenets. Finally, Chapter One explains the importance of the formation of the Pennsylvania State Police and how that agency affected the establishment of similar departments around the country including the Delaware State Police.
CHAPTERS TWO, THREE and FOUR address the department’s development through the 1920s, the Depression and World War Two. Law enforcement methods and equipment changed dramatically in the early decades of the DSP. Charles Hughes was a motorcycle patrolman from 1942 until 1962. His recollections from an interview conducted on June 25, 2001 are in Chapter Four. Chapter Four also includes the details of a case from the late forties that received national attention, The Lonely Hearts Murders.
The final three chapters of the book continue to portray the evolution of the force through accounts of the most important cases and incidents of the last half of the twentieth century: de-segregation and school integration, the riots in Wilmington in 1968 and the Pennell serial murder case.
THE FORMATION, DEVELOPMENT AND WORK OF THE DELAWARE STATE POLICE: A TEACHER’S GUIDE was extensively researched. This research, supported by interviews with retired state police troopers and officers with first hand knowledge of the events and cases described make this book a valuable source of Delaware history.

© Delaware State Police Museum, Dover, Delaware, USA


  • Frank Manerchia says:

    I started reading through it and finished the first four chapters before I realized that I stuff to do and had to take a break. What a wealth of information! I realized a while ago that I had an interest in history. Between you and your researcher, I was exposed to so many facts, in a almost conversational way, that I couldn’t stop reading. KUDOS, brother. The origins of laws and the delegation of authority over them was fascinating, I’ve always been interested in etymology, so the origin of the word sheriff blew me away. I actually can’t wait to get back to it.

    • I’m glad you liked it. The researcher, John Alstadt is an ex-State Trooper who worked in the crime lab and he was the State Police Museum curator when I wrote the book so we had all we needed as far as background material. I used the State Archives too, which is where I found the telegram from Louis Redding in Chapter 5.

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