Column: Aberdeen police history continues

May 15, 2012

Last week we talked about the binder of Aberdeen police history donated by retired First Sgt. James Testerman to be included in the Aberdeen Room Archives and Museum. The history is long and illustrious, so we will continue this week.

As we said previously, the police department moved to the building that housed the Aberdeen Fire Department in the 1960s. When Aberdeen Fire House 1 was completed in 1974, and the fire department moved from the corner of North Parke Street and West Bel Air Avenue, the police department was able to expand, and was renovated.

The sign on that brick building that read "Aberdeen Fire Department 1948" was expertly, and economically changed to read, with just a curved lettering to fit over the replaced "Fire," to read "Aberdeen Police Department."

In 1991, the police department again had the chance to expand into the building next door that was occupied by the popular Aberdeen Pawn and Hobby Shop. This addition provided space for more offices and evidence areas.

One of the mot outstanding projects was initiated by the Aberdeen Police in 1990 in the Washington Park Apartment complex. The area was patrolled by off-duty uniformed Aberdeen police who walked the area on foot. This was funded by the management of Washington Park to control the drug market. The success of this program led other communities throughout the state to have similar programs.

In 1970, the Aberdeen Auxiliary Police was formed by Chief Chester Roberts to assist the police force. The auxiliary was authorized to have 15 volunteers, under the administration of the police chief.

Harold Carty was elected the first captain of the Aberdeen Auxiliary Police. James Shirley was elected and served until December 1990.

Over the years, the Aberdeen Police Department has received numerous awards, which have been included in Testerman's historical binder. Included have been safe driving records by Officers Daniel Liftridge, Steve Zirk, James Rivera, Frederick Budnick, Carlo Cardarelli and Eldon Budnick Jr. and Cpl. Nick Edwards.

In 2004, two Aberdeen officers received the Mayor's Medal, presented for life-saving actions. In July of that year, Officer Cornish Adkins and Officer Michael Webster saved a family as flames engulfed their apartment.

In that same year, the Aberdeen Police Department was among 10 finalists selected from almost 100 department worldwide to receive the 2003 Community Policing Award sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and ITT Industries Night Vision.

Testerman included in his binder photos of parades, downtown businesses and one at the time of his retirement with current Police Chief Henry Trabert.

Concluding the inclusive history is a photo of the present Aberdeen Police Department which was designed as the Franklin Street side of the Aberdeen Municipal Building in 2000.

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