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More than 100 years ago, first town Marshal of Bartow was chosen. The small horse and buggy town could hardly have foreseen the growth that was to encompass it in the coming century. C.C. Gresham was elected the first town Marshal on July 1, 1882 when the citizens saw a need for better legal protection, and the town of Bartow was incorporated.


The ordinance went into effect several weeks later, promoting this article in the newspaper: "There will be no more drunken brawling or shooting about the streets of Bartow, as such fun now costs from eleven to sixty dollars in each case." Indeed, Marshal Gresham's biggest responsibility in that retrospectively Utopian town of the early 1880's was to stop drunken brawls from occurring in the streets. Cowboys and Marshals

After a 15 year period during which town marshals were elected, the town switched to a system whereby the Marshal was appointed. The salary in those days was $50 per month. Though the crimes seem to have grown more heinous and more frequent since those "good old days," the death of a police officer in the line of duty was not unheard of at that time. In 1886, Bartow Marshal Silas W. Campbell was killed in a shootout that left his assistant severely wounded.

Marshal Campbell was shot and killed while attempting to arrest two drunken brothers, Dan and Lony Mann, who were creating a disturbance. The guilty brothers were eventually arrested by other officers, but were removed from the jail by an angry mob and lynched.

Marshal Campbell had served as town marshal for one year and was survived by his wife and children, he was 37 years old.

The Bartow Police Department has evolved over the years from a one man, 15-hour-a-day department into a staff of 41 sworn and 26 non-sworn personnel who provide Law Enforcement services to the citizens of Bartow

Joe Mizell 1931


Joe Mizell, a Bartow Police Officer from 1922-1946, served as Bartow Police Chief for a total of 10 years during that period. The exact dates are unknown due to a fire which destroyed all of the records between the years of 1911-1939.











Slide Show of Our History




1882-1883 C. C. Gresham

1883  Marshal George H. Blackwell 

1883  Marshal R. T. Kilpatrick  

1884-1886 Marshal A. S. Campbell, killed on duty


1886-1887 Marshal W. T. Hall

1887-1888 Marshal J. F. McCormick

1888-1890 Marshal W. F. Prince

1890-1893 Marshal R. T. Kilpatrick

1893-1897 Marshal L. E. Jones

1897 Marshal Y. S. Dial

1897-1902 Marshal C. D. Gresham

1902-1903 Marshal John Read

1903 Marshal Latt Allen, Jr.

1903-1906 Marshal J. E. Childs


1906-1909 Marshal C. C. Gresham

1909-1911 Marshal B. C. Williams

1911 Marshal J. R. Wiggins

1911-1939  Records lost due to fire

1930's Chief Joe Mizell 

Police Chief Joe Mizell 1930's
Chief Bostick

1940-1951 Chief Guy Bostick (far right)


 1951-1955  Chief William H. Duvault




Chief Thornhill

  1955-1958  Chief Roscoe Thornhill

1958-1962 Chief Ellie T. Wilson

Chief Ellie Wilson


1962-1967 Chief K. C. Myers




Chief Cromartie Grand Opening


Chief Louis Cromartie, far right

1969-1970 Interim Chief Don Carter

Chief Don Carter


1970-1974 Chief C. T. Clark




BPD 1974

1974-1976 Chief Marvin Pittman

(back row, far left)




1976-1978  Chief Jack Cunningham




Chief Fleming (center)

1978-1986 Chief C. A. Fleming (center)




Chief M. L. "Roy" McKinsey

Chief Roy Mckinsey

Chief Tony Sparks w/chief Mckinsey



1995-1997 Chief Tony R. Sparks, right

1997-1998 Interim Chief Dennis Hoecherl  

Chief Dennis Hoecherl

Chief Eric Sandvik


1998-2007 Chief Erik Sandvik  

Director Larry Williams


 2007-2008 Interim Director

 Larry G. Williams, Jr.


2008-2009 Interim Chief David Brooks 

Chief David Brooks

hall profile 2012

   Chief Joe Hall 2009-Present




Last updated: 5/23/2016 2:33:01 PM