Town of Eden
Eden Police Department
History














Elected constables: 1891-1935
    Although the Town of Eden Police Department may be the youngest municipal department in Erie County, old records show that as early as 1891, the people of Eden realized their need for law enforcement and elected, by popular vote, a town constable.
    Chief Cleveland E. Shook was the last of these elected constables, serving until 1935 in that capacity. He later became a deputy sheriff and eventually was appointed an Eden police chief.

Part-time police chief: 1935-1949
    In 1935 Floyd Waite became the town's first police chief, his job being considered only part time. For $35 a week, he work out of his own home, used his own car, and furnished also his own gasoline. He did this for 12 years, until his death in 1947.

    Clarence Schreiner then served briefly as the chief, followed by Elmott Howell, whose term was also short.

Full-time police chief: 1949-now
    By 1949 Eden recognized the necessity of a full-time police officer and hired Cleveland A. Shook as the Chief of Police. The town's population grew rapidly, and in 1955 the town board approved the formation of the Eden Auxiliary Police club, a body of twelve volunteer citizens. Chief Shook headed the unit, which was mandated by Civil Defense Regulations then in force. Mr. Shook retired in 1959 and was replaced by Raymond E. Beary who had experience in both the criminal and traffic divisions of the Erie County Sheriff's department. He remained Chief in Eden for two years, when in 1962 he accepted a position as Police Chief in Maitland, Florida.


    Eden Police Department - 1957
    Front row: Chief Ted Shook (seated). Second row: (from left) Supervisor George Guenther, Mike Eppolito, Gus Eichler, Don Wightman, Marve Miller. Third row: David Laing, Paul Laing, Will Smutz, Charles Moulthrop, Frank Meyer, Claff Chittenden

    Robert J. Ostermeir filled Mr. Beary's vacancy, and was followed by Raymond Sheffield in 1963. Robert Stender held the position until 1973.

    Police communications were greatly improved by the installation of a teletype machine in 1961. Later a computerized panel made communications into the even more efficient system which we have today.

    Beginning in May of 1973 Eden began the task of becoming a certified civil service department. John N. Cardarelli became the first Chief under this format and remained in that capacity until 1988, when he became Commissioner of Erie County Central Police Services.

    At present the Eden Police Department consists of Chief Michael J Felshow, Lieutenant John McCarthy, two full and seven part-time officers, one full-time police clerk and five part-time civilian personnel, who carry out clerical and dispatching duties. Our department additionally organizes and presents educational and safety programs, and sponsors fund-raisers to benefit various charities. Since our duties are so diversified and our department is relatively small, each officer is called upon to become a "Jack of all trades", as well as a master of law enforcement. While major crimes are not usually associated with small communities, Eden has been the site of a least four major crimes. Each was investigated with Eden as the lead agency and solved.

    Our police force continues to be steadfastly supplemented by the Eden Reserve Police, commanded by Captain Joseph E. Flynn and served by one lieutenant, 3 sergeants and up to 18 patrol officers. They provide routine dispatch and clerical services, along with volunteer manpower for crowd and traffic control during special events and in times of disaster.

    The dedication and cooperation of the townspeople and our police department have combined to make Eden into a tranquil yet thriving community. Proudly we guard it as we enter the 21st century.


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