The History of the Nebraska City Police Department
The history of the Nebraska City Police Department and those who have served as the head law enforcement officer is as colorful as the history of Nebraska City itself. Nebraska City was originally settled as a result of the Kansas- Nebraska Act of 1854. This act allowed the legal settlement in the area by the U.S. Government. Originally three cities were incorporated in the present Nebraska City area, with a forth being added shortly afterwards. These townships included: Nebraska City, Kearney City, South Nebraska City and Prairie City. These four townships merged in 1857 to become today’s present Nebraska City. During these early years, law enforcement varied from Territorial Marshalls, to Sheriffs and to locally selected Marshalls and or Chiefs of Police.
While there may be some omissions, I have tried to name those who served as protectors of the peace (Marshalls or Police Chiefs) through the years. In many incidences I could not find information as to how these men were chosen or appointed. Many articles indicated they served one year. While there are gaps in the time frames between one Chief to another, it can only be assumed an individual held this position during the entire span between the naming of a different Chief of Police.
Little information could be found regarding who served as a town Marshall or Chief of police from the years 1858 until 1870. After the separate cities consolidated in 1857 they still hired their own law enforcement officers. This has made it more difficult to find information regarding law enforcement personal.
The following information does not include individuals who were appointed interim Chiefs; this lack of information may explain the gaps in the time line of these men’s careers
“In Old Nebraska City,” Smith McManus served as Marshall beginning in March of 1855. In 1856, James W. Stoll was selected as Marshall.
In 1857-1858, Hiram Joy was appointed as “Chairman of the committee of Police” for Nebraska City. (It is unclear to this author if Mr. Joy was indeed a law man or if his role was to seek individuals to serve as law men.)
Also, in the same year, “Kearney City”, hired a town Marshall named Byron Sanford. “South Nebraska City” hired Marshall Henry Brown.
Beginning in 1870 William R. Hickey was hired as the Marshall with Michael Bowers as his deputy.
1872 Thomas Thomas was appointed as Marshall.
1881-1882 Chief of Police was Alex Hickey, who had two constables Gran H. Hail and W.T. Canada.
1891-1892 Chief of Police was F. M. Wheeling and patrolmen Zach White, Frank Bauer and John McIlreevy.
1893-1894 Chief of Police F. L. Faunce and patrolmen White Handley, Frank Bauer and John McIlreevy.
1898 Chief of Police F. M. Wheeling with H. Winton serving as Marshall.
1905-1906 Chief of Police Onie Schoonover.
1910-1911 Chief of Police John Crichton
1940-1948 Chief of Police W. J. Gunn
1948-1975 Chief of Police Clarence Iverson
1975- 1978 Chief of Police E. R. “Joe” Lange
1978-2003 Chief of Police Kent Roumpf
2003-2006 Chief of Police William Muldoon
2006- Present Chief of Police David Lacy
If there is anyone who has information regarding the history of Chiefs of Police or on the history of the Police Department in Nebraska City, please contact Chief David Lacy. By doing so, this history can be saved and corrected.
As the editor of this site, I would like to thank Chief David Lacy for providing this information.