After constables and night watchmen had protected Alexandria, Virginia, for nearly 100 years, the Alexandria Police Department was officially organized on July 15, 1870. When the city authorized a formal police department, the board of police elected a captain, a lieutenant, and 19 patrolmen. All officers were issued star-shaped tin badges, but they had to supply their own uniforms and guns. This first published history of the Alexandria Police Department follows the growth of the force from the days of foot patrols, when drunks and thieves menaced the seaport town, to 20th-century law enforcement pioneers who once used watches to catch speeders and trained a canine to respond to radio commands. Images recall Alexandria's downtown before it became Old Town and capture the city's expansion to Del Ray and the West End. The officers themselves are highlighted as they caught criminals, investigated traffic accidents, reached out to children in the community, and, in some cases, sacrificed their own lives while protecting the people of Alexandria.