1940s - 1960s

  • Prior to 1940, Irving did not have a paid police force. Just one man, Frank Pate, acted as Constable, City Marshal, and Night Watchman. The first paid patrolman in Irving was George Smith who was paid by donations from businesses and citizens. “Uncle” George walked the city on foot from 1940 to 1947 when Irving’s boundaries were Britain Road, O’Connor Road, Sixth Street, and Lively Street.
  • In 1942, the Irving Police Auxiliary was formed, and the City Council passed an ordinance granting a charter for these volunteers to become Irving’s first reserve officers.
  • In 1947, the responsibility of protecting the city was turned over to Joseph B. Reynolds. During his time as Chief the department purchased its first two-way radio equipped police car.
  • W.J. Cooper took over in 1953.
  • In 1954, the department’s first motorcycle was purchased, and by 1957, 21 patrol officers were added to the force as well as three more cars and an additional motorcycle. An officer’s salary was approximately $64 per week with no overtime allowed.
  • Charles J. Wirasnik, Jr. became Chief in 1958, and the first school-crossing guards were hired.
  • In 1961, the work week was cut to five days, and overtime pay was approved.
  • In 1965, the Police Department moved from the police building at Second and Jefferson to the new police / courts building on Irving Blvd.
  • James Richard Colwell was Chief from 1967 to 1970, followed by Leonard McCarley, who was the first Irving officer to work his way from patrol to the helm of the department.
  • Since 1940, the department had grown from one person to approximately 60 commissioned officers, and the city’s population had grown from 1,500 to more than 97,000.