Village of Liverpool
310 Sycamore Street • Liverpool, New York 13088
                           315-457-3441
 
 
Police History

When the Village of Liverpool was incorporated in 1830, the Village had two Constables. In 1862, the local peace officer was, for the first time, given the title "Police Constable", thus allowing the carrying of weapons and greater authority to make arrests. During the previous year, a jail, usually termed the ‘lock-up’ or ‘black hole’, had been built in the area of Tulip and Brow Streets at a cost of $200. Repairs made to this building in 1910 included concrete floors in every cell and the addition of another window. In 1929, the black hole became a thing of the past when the Commissioner of Public Works was authorized to dispose of the village jail, which had been disbanded by the State Prison Department in Albany, NY.

 

In 1869, both the Treasurer and the Police Constable where required to post bond.

 

The first reference to a Police Chief is found in April, 1899 when Charles Sharrer was appointed Chief Police Constable. At the time, Maurice Wentworth, Valentine Fischer, Fred Bretzer, John Dietz and John Myers were appointed Police Constables. Fred Betzer became Chief Police Constable in 1900. By 1910, "Police Chief" became the official title.

 

In 1903, the first equipment allowance was put into effect when the village authorized the purchase of clubs, belts and whistles for its force.

 

Very little information is recorded from 1928 through 1952.

 

In 1952 Floyd Harrison was appointed Chief of Police and remained Chief through 1971.

 

In 1972, the village appointed Raymond Piper, a ten-year veteran of the force, as Chief of Police. There were five full time officers, including a sergeant, and seven part time officers. Each full-time officer had completed an 18-week course in municipal police training at Syracuse University or Onondaga Community College.

 

During that same year, the Police Department  had three marked police vehicles and one unmarked police vehicle. The vehicles were equipped with first-aid equipment and oxygen, allowing officers to administer medical care at various types of emergencies.  The Village Police Department became the first department to enter into a county-wide dispatch system between towns, villages and sheriff's police agencies. The system is still identified as the Onondaga County Law Enforcement Information Service [OLEIS]. Chief Piper was elected as the first Chairman overseeing OLEIS.

 

The Liverpool Police Department was headquartered in the Gleason Mansion, the former residence of a well-to-do villager which in the late 1930’s was converted into a Village Hall and used by the village for decades. The Village Clerk’s office was located in the front of the building, with the Village Board’s meeting room located in what would be considered a formal living room.  The Police Department was located in the rear of the building, sharing space with the Justice Court. In later years, the court was moved upstairs near the custodian's apartment and the Police Department converted the former courtroom into office space for the sergeant and police officers. In 1978, the Liverpool Police Department was increased to seven full-time officers and eight part-time officers. This increase was financed through grants, which allowed the training and hiring of police officers at no cost to the village for one year.

 

In August of 1984, Chief Raymond Piper retired, and Gerard J Neri, a seven-year veteran of the force, was appointed as Acting Chief of Police. Acting Chief Neri was appointed Chief of Police on February 25, 1985. At the age of 25, Chief Neri was the youngest Civil Service Police Chief in New York State History.

 

All police officers receive police academy certification in conjunction with the department’s field-training program. All officers were equipped with a departmental issued handgun and received mandatory firearms training twice a year. A Rules and Regulations manual was instituted. The department increased to 11 full time officers and 6 part time officers. The department's fleet consisted of 2 unmarked vehicles, 4 marked vehicles, 1 unmarked van and two motorcycles.

 

Due to overcrowding at this location, the Liverpool Police Department – along with the Justice Court and Village Clerk - moved to the A.V. Zogg Building at 500 Hickory Street in 1988. This space is owned by the Liverpool Central School District, and the Village paid rent to the school district for the use of this building.

 

In June 1995, the Liverpool Police Department received New York State Accreditation.

 

On July 24, 1996, the Village of Liverpool and the City of Syracuse entered into a "Contract for Services".  The Village of Liverpool Police Department was now known as the Syracuse Police Department, Liverpool District. The Liverpool Police Officers became Syracuse Police Officers and the Chief became a District Chief of the Syracuse Police. The New York State Accreditation Council revoked the Accreditation of the Liverpool Police Department. The contract for Services was challenged by Village of Liverpool residents who opposed the Contract. 

 

On July 1, 1997 Mayor James W. Farrell, Trustee Gary C. White and Leslie G. Fischer were elected to the Village Board of Trustees. The newly elected Mayor and Village Board members were supported by those who opposed  the Police Contract with the City of Syracuse, and began the process to terminate the Contract.

 

The Contract was terminated on July 1, 1998 and the Liverpool Police Department was re-formed. The Village Board of Trustees downsized the Police Department to the current Department which now consists of one Chief of Police, one Sergeant, three full time Police Officers and six Part Time Police Officers. 

 

On August 12, 1998, Chief Neri retired from the Department.

 

In June of 1998, Richard Owens was appointed as Acting Police Chief. Chief Owens was a retired New York State Police Investigator prior to his appointment to the Chief of Police position. Chief Owens began the process of upgrading the Police Department equipment including the replacement of two 1995 Ford Crown Victoria Police vehicles. He also obtained new computers for the Department. Chief Owens resigned from the Police Department in March of 1999. 

   

On March 15, 1999, Donald L. Morris was appointed as Chief of Police for the Liverpool Police Department. Chief Morris was a Captain with the Solvay Police Department prior to his appointment to the Chief of Police position with the Liverpool Police Department. Chief Morris has implemented a Bike Patrol, Foot Patrol Program, Watch Your Car Program, Child Safety Seat Check-ups and restored the Explorer Post. Chief Morris also re-instated the ‘Officer of the Year’ program and Department recognition. Chief Morris and Sergeant Burg completed the updating of the Department Rules and Regulations by January 01, 2000.

 

In October 2000, the Village of Liverpool Offices moved into their newly renovated building at 310 Sycamore Street, known as the Gleason Mansion Carriage House, which previously housed the Liverpool Fire Department. This new Village Hall is now the home for the Liverpool Police Department, Village Clerk, and Village Justice Court.

 

On June 14, 2001 the Liverpool Police Department received New York State Accreditation again.

 
On October 15, 2007, Chief Morris retired from the Village of Liverpool Police Department.
 
Michael Burg was appointed as Acting Chief on October 15, 2007.
 
On January 15, 2008 William Becker was appointed Chief of Police for the Village of Liverpool.  Chief Becker was the Accreditation Manager and directed the Police Department through a successful Re-Accreditation.  The Liverpool Police received the Re-Accreditation on June 7, 2011. Chief Beck is also responsible for the implementation of the patrol rifle.
 
Chief Becker left the Department in August of 2012. 
 
On August 31, 2012, Donald L. Morris returned to the Village of Liverpool as the Chief of Police.


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