Vestal Police Department celebrates its 75th anniversary; an inside look at the department’s history

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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VESTAL (WBNG) -- This year the Vestal Police Department celebrated its 75th anniversary.

The department has a long history spanning over half a century.

12 News spoke to Vestal’s Police Captain Christopher Streno, who shared some of the department’s history including its formation.

Streno told 12 News that in the summer of 1946 the town board passed a resolution to start the department after public demand due to the death of three children within a two-year period.

“It was actually connected to the school which shows our connection to the school district going back to our original creation,” he said. “The very first police officer was actually a part-time police officer and part-time school employee.”

Streno has been with the VPD for over 25 years, a third of the department’s existence. He told 12 News he has seen the department change and grow, mostly with its technology.

“I remember getting the internet on my desktop computer,” he said. “Everything from computers to cell phones to the way technology helps law enforcement and the way that we’re battling technology with criminals has evolved tremendously.”

Earlier this year to coincide with their anniversary the department held an award ceremony to show recognition to their officers.

“We don’t do these jobs for public recognition,” said Streno. “If you care about your employees then your going to take care of them, your gonna recognize when they do things well and when they make the department proud.”

Over 20 awards were given out with nine of them being life-saving awards; This could include performing CPR, using a tourniquet or using Naloxone to help someone recover from a drug overdose.