History of the Department

Dewey Beach Town Hall - Police Department (1983-1997)

Chief Karl M. Klink Jr. (Chief of Police From 1983-1992)

Chief Raymond P. Morrison Jr. (Chief of Police From 1992-2002) No Photo Available

Chief Gordon E. Elliott

Prior to July 4, 1981, when former Governor Pierre DuPont signed the Bill of Incorporation and Dewey Beach became a town with its own government, Dewey Beach unincorporated Town's Commissioners contracted with Resort Investigations & Patrol, a private security guard firm, to provide patrol service for the unincorporated areas of the Town. On May 22, 1981, the Town drafted a list of thirteen Ordinances and placed them in effect. These Ordinances were basically aimed at keeping the peace. Resort designed a criminal ordinance summons which allowed the issuance of a summons for an ordinance violation. The Attorney General's office ruled that the summonses were legal and that non-sworn officers could issue a summons for the ordinance violations. As a result of this, Dewey Beach was able to levy a fine of $25.00, plus cost, per violation.

Five black and white patrol cars and a jeep were assigned to patrol the Town and the beach, with the main intent of causing compliance with newly drafted ordinances. The majority of the summonses were for violation of beach rules, alcohol violations and disorderly conduct. Prior to July 4, 1981, Resort was issuing approximately one-hundred summonses a day.

On July 4, 1981, then Governor Pierre DuPont signed the Bill of Incorporation and Dewey Beach became a Town with its own government. A police force was formed with a staff from the Resort Investigations & Patrol. Second-hand uniforms were purchased and a new radio system was installed. The Delaware State Police and adjacent towns loaned radar units, firearms, radio, equipment as well as providing much assistance and advice.

A bonfire was held on the beach at New Orleans Street and Mayor Elect, Bruce Vavala swore in the newly appointed police force: Chief Joseph J Kansak, Major Karl M Klink, Jr., Sergeant Davis E Collins, PFC William S Tyndall, Patrolman Robert M Sanders and Patrolman A Roger Hamael.

The parking operation, with personnel, radios, regulations and necessary tickets, was organized and in operation by Memorial Day weekend, 1982. During 1981, the Dewey Beach Police Department responded to over 2000 calls for service.

Since there was no Town Hall or Police Station, the officers were required to operate out of their police vehicles for the first week until the department was able to borrow the former Harry Shaud Real Estate building, located at Highway One and 1A. The building had no running water and the interior was in disrepair. The Police Chief, along with several officers, installed wall-to-wall carpeting, repaired the walls, windows and doors, which made the building functional. When prisoners were taken into custody, they were handcuffed to chairs. Since no restroom facilities were available, prisoners were transported to either the South Winds Motel to use the outdoor restroom facilities or to JP Court No.2 or No.3. By late 1983, the Town leased a former rental cottage with an option to buy, with the provision that the first years' lease price could be deducted from the purchase price. The Town did purchase the building the following year with cash from the general revenue and a $35,000 loan.

As the Town was further organized, the highlights of the 1983-1985 periods were: classification of the Town's ordinances, comprehensive parking ordinances, leasing of the first new police car, and approval for an Alderman Court. In 1988, the staff of the police force was increased. A police-monitoring program was established in 1992 to curb loud and disorderly activity. During the time, more parking enforcement officers were hired.

In September 1997, the Town of Dewey Beach demolished the rental cottage and rebuilt a more modern facility. In March 1998, the Dewey Beach Police Department moved into the new facility.

Dewey Beach Town Hall - Police Department (1998-Present)

The agency is currently under the direction of Chief Sam Mackert, a veteran of the department since 1989. The Dewey Beach Police Department currently has 8 full time sworn officers, 3 part time sworn officers, and 3 support staff. The agency handles approximately 2,586 calls for service each year across an area of 21 blocks long by 2 blocks wide.

Click here for a map of Dewey Beach

The Dewey Beach Police Department is located at 105 Rodney Avenue.

Photographs herein may not be copied and distributed without permission of the Dewey Beach Police

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Last Updated 07/11/2015