The Hollywood Police Department (HPD) is indeed a full-service law enforcement department that serves a population of 152,511 people inside a 27-square-mile (70-square-kilometer) area of Hollywood, Florida. The Department has 322 sworn law-enforcement officers at full strength.
The police department, like the municipality itself, was founded on December 8, 1925. In its first year, the department had seven chiefs, since the city council picked inexperienced locals who were uninterested in the job.
The village was largely devastated by a major hurricane on September 17, 1926. While the department was destroyed, the city was secured by the local National Guard unit. Captain Clare Stout was in charge of this operation, as well as less then three years later, she was promoted to chief of the department.
The community was heavily damaged by the Great Depression. By 1931, police officers were required to patrol in their very own automobiles as well as pay for their uniforms in part. The city had been unable to fulfil payroll the next year, therefore letters of credit were given in place of compensation.
During this time, the number of police officers upon that force fluctuated dramatically. The agency was understaffed, underfunded, and governed by chiefs with little experience. The city had become a centre for organised crime during this time. Despite the fact that alcohol is outlawed, numerous illicit pubs and casinos functioned unchecked by the authorities.
From Hollywood, “Lucky” Luciano as well as Meyer Lansky oversaw their businesses. Despite repeated attempts through the state to repress them, these activities continued into the postwar years. Senator Estes Kefauver of the United States and the Miami Herald highlighted local corruption and depravity between 1947 and 1951. As a result of the increased demand, the largest enterprises were relocated to Las Vegas and adjacent Cuba.
As part of a work stoppage in September 1980, an unknown number of police officers phoned in sick. According to the agency’s own website, many officers were more concerned about their side occupations as security guards than with their employment with the police in the 1980s. Richard Witt was appointed head of police in January 1986. He has worked for the Miami Police Department for 26 years. He was indeed the city’s first head of police with very little professional expertise as well as limited ties towards the city’s wealthy interests.