2002 marked the 75th Anniversary of the Chino Police Department. Its current staff of 163 personnel serve a vital and thriving community located in a pivotal Southern California business and transportation corridor at the entry way to the Counties of Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside. Chino 's residential population of over 70,000 is supplemented by thousands of commuters, business travelers, and retail visitors daily.
The Chino of today has a rich historical past highlighting a close-knit family community. That unity continues to exist today even through the rapid growth and development of the Chino Valley region. The Police Department has played an integral role in the historical growth and development of Chino and is truly considered the community's own.
It was 1887 when landowner Richard Gird parceled onesquare mile of his Chino ranch and declared it the "Town of Chino ." By 1891 Gird built a sugar beet factory and Chino became the premier producer of sugar in the United States . With only 75 residents in 1890, the addition of the sugar factory increased Chino 's growth significantly and with it came the need for law enforcement.
The Township of Chino officially became a city in 1910 and things began to happen. Community-based facilities for police services were realized with the first City hall. This facility was the old Chino Land and Water Co. office at 7th and "D" Street and the police department occupied a small back corner of this building. Chino 's law enforcement team operated in the constable-justice combination fashion for many years.
In 1910, the newly formed City of Chino employed a "Town Marshal." Our first Marshal was William V. Myers. Mr. Myers resigned within a few months because of poor health, and Wylie Marsh was named. During the day, Mr. Marsh served as tax collector and business license enforcer. At night he was on watch; a routine that got to be too much, so he resigned but took the job of night watchman. He was succeeded by George V. Holcomb.
The plan was to have a town Marshal responsible for all law enforcement within the town limits, and he and the newly designated "precinct or county constable" could pool their resources when necessary. The township voted to pay the Marshal $15.00 per month, plus a percentage of fines and licenses he enforced. This plan of town Marshal lasted until 1926 when the City of Chino formed the Chino Police Department and officially recognized the position of "City Police Chief". Its first Police Chief and only Police Officer was Monte Wells.
In 1954, a new city Facility was built in the City Park at 9 th and D Streets. This new facility was state-of-the-art design with actual office spaces and a new jail. This facility was quickly outgrown when the city began growing in population because of the southern California eastward march of business, industry, and dairies.
The last Constable for the City of Chino was Mr. Bud Coppess, appointed by then County Supervisor, Ruben Ayala on September 15, 1967. He had served with the Chino Police Department for nine years before being offered the position as Constable. His jurisdiction, the judicial-district, was very similar to the current boundaries of the Chino Valley Unified School District. In this position, Constable Coppess was responsible for civil proceedings and still worked closely with members of the Chino Police Department. Bud Coppess held this position until 1982 when he retired. The position of Constable was from that point on assumed by the San Bernardino County Marshall.
By 1970, the population had grown to approximately 17,000 citizens, and the once modern Police Department on 9th Street had become grossly overcrowded and inadequate to handle such a rapidly expanding city.
In 1972, a new, modern police facility was designed. By 1976, a new City Hall, Police Facility, and County complex was completed at Central and Chino Avenues. Chino 's 35 officers and support personnel now had a home, which after some adjustment for growth, serves our community today.
The Chino Police Department of today handles over 8,000 calls for service each month, and provides the full-service functions of Communications, Patrol, Traffic Enforcement and Investigation, Detectives, Gangs, Narcotics, S.W.A.T., Crime Analysis, Crime Prevention, Mounted Enforcement Team, and School Resource Officers assigned to the two High Schools.
A new chapter was added to Chino Police Department's history on October 13, 2012. This date marked the Grand Opening of the new Police Facility located at 5450 Walnut Avenue. The new facility includes a shooting range, a dedicated Emergency Operations Center, and a police museum. The 102,000 square foot facility is designed to support the growing department well into the future.
Historical contributions by Department Historian, Phil Dubois, Retired Lieutenant, Chino PD