2017-10-13 / Community

A Window on the Past

Historical items from South Portland Police Department sought
By Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


This early parking ticket was recently donated to the historical society by retired officer Louis Brown, along with numerous other items reflecting a history of the South Portland Police Department. (Courtesy photo) This early parking ticket was recently donated to the historical society by retired officer Louis Brown, along with numerous other items reflecting a history of the South Portland Police Department. (Courtesy photo) Last December, we ran a photo in the Sentry showing South Portland police officer Nate Snow in his parade uniform, and had asked readers to help us locate more history of the South Portland Police Department. We’ve had a few responses over the past year, including Bill Daicy who came in and donated several items including part of the uniform of his father, former SPPD officer Chet Daicy, Jr.

I was really thrilled, however, when meeting and talking with retired South Portland patrol officer Louis Brown. Over the course of several months, Louis has not only donated a substantial collection of artifacts and documentation of the South Portland Police Department, but he donated his time, as well, spending many hours talking with me so that we could document the 30-year period when he served on our police force, from 1960 to 1990. It has been such a pleasure talking with him and learning the ins and outs of how the department worked over the years. As we’ve been cataloging his collection, his explanations have really helped us to document a lot of police history so that it will exist for future generations to learn from and understand.

Shown here is a very early traffic ticket which was used by South Portland police officers. It is a great piece of ephemera - a piece of local history that would otherwise have been lost. As new versions of tickets were created over the years, the old tickets would have all been thrown away. Notice the 25 Cottage Road address for the police department; that was back when our police force was located in what now is City Hall. There are still residents alive today who remember the jail cells that used to be located in the basement of the City Hall building.

If you have pieces of South Portland history to share, please contact the South Portland Historical Society by phone at 767-7299, by email at sphistory04016@gmail.com, on Facebook, or in person or by mail at 55 Bug Light Park, South Portland, ME 04106.

Kathryn DiPhilippo is executive directors of South Portland Historical Society

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