On January 16th, 1806 Wheeling Virginia was
charted as a "Town". On that date the charter of the town of Wheeling
Virginia called fo the creation of a Police Department. The Wheeling
Police Department is believed to the oldest Police Department in the
State. It is more than a century older than the WV State Police
which was chartered in 1919.
The first record of a Chief Of Police is on March 25th 1806.
Mr. George Pannell was appointed first Sergeant was appointed by the
mayor and Commonality of the town of Wheeling ,VA, as the first
Sergeant of the newly established town. A Sergeant's
duties were the same as a modern day Chief of Police. The term
Sergeant was used until 1879.
After the City became incorporated in 1836 the Police Department
appointed their first Chief of Police, Peter Kennedy had four
Officers under his command. The City had no paved streets.
The street lights were oil lamps. One of the primary duties of
the Officers were to keep the streets clear of cows and pigs so that
they would not startle passing horses.
It is believed that the first person arrested in Wheeling was a Mr.
Ward Cubbinson. Cubbinson got into an argument with Osrey
Hatch. This dispute was over a line fence. Hatch's cows
wandered onto what is now 12th and Market Streets. He was
struck by Cubbinson during the feud. The fine was $2.00 plus
cost which Cubbinson paid in corn. The first woman
arrested was a Maude Smith. Smith was charged with Breach of
Peace after striking a neighbor's child. She was assessed a
fine of $1.00 and costs.
The Wheeling Police Department implemented it's
first Police Car around 1925. The second was acquired in 1928 and
referred to as a scout car. Police Motorcycles also became
implemented around this time. In 1936 the Department received their
first Radio Cars. These were highy effective in the flood of 1936.
In 1988 the Wheeling Police Drug task force was created. In 1988
The department implemented two new computer systems. By 1992 the
department was completely computerized. In 1992 VHS camera systems
were installed in the Police Cars. In 1997 the department formed
its first Mountain Bike Patrol Division. The first K9 unit was
implemented in 2003.