History of the Lodi Police Department

CHIEF CHRISTESEN, his wife and grandson with two 1290s vehicles

Chief Ferdinand Christesen, photographed in the late-1920s, with his wife, Ida (far right), and grandson Jim Fitzsimmons. Christensen was the first Lodi Police Chief.

The Founding of Lodi

The City of Lodi was founded in August 1869. Charles O. Ivery and John M Burt established the "Ivory Store", which was located at the corner of Pine and Sacramento streets. It drew homesteaders and other businesses to the area. 

On November 27, 1906, residents, by a two-to-one margin, voted for incorporation and elected the following individuals: Trustees F. O. Hale, J. M. Blodgett, G. E. Lawrence, L. Villinger, and C. A. Rich; Clerk J. W. Mollahon; Treasurer W. H. Lorenz; and Marshall H. B. Coleman.

On December 3, 1906, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors ordered, decreed, and declared that Lodi was duly incorporated as a municipal corporation. Three days later, the order was filed in the California Secretary of State's Office, making December 6th the official date of Lodi's incorporation. December 7th, 1906, Lodi's Board of Trustees met for the first time. They elected George E. Lawrence as the first mayor. The City limits were bordered by Lockeford, and Hutchins streets, Cherokee Lane, and a line 1,6000 feet south of Lodi Avenue. The population at the time was 1,946.

In 1914, a jail building was finished near City Hall, and the City's first civic center was completed.

Lodi's First Chief of Police

Ferdinand Christesen was originally a watermelon grower in the Lodi area and then turned his property into vineyards. In 1922, the City Board of Trustees, later called the Loci City Council, appointed Christesen City Marshall and Superintendents of Streets. In 1927, his title changed to Chief of Police, and the duties of law enforcement and street maintenance were separated in 1928.

In 1930, the City of Lodi had a police force of six men; Chief Christesen, F. Shealor, Del Acker, Avery White, Roy Coffman, and Clarence S. Jackson. Patrolmen were required to use their own vehicles on duty.

In 1934, Christesen retired and Clarence Jackson became Chief of Police. 

Circa 1935 photograph of five police officer & Chief Clarence in front of City Hall.

Circa 1935, five police officers and Lodi Police Chief C. S. Jackson in front of City Hall.

Back row, left to right: T. Bender (Badge #6), R. Boyd (Badge #4), Chief Jackson, Avery White (Badge #2). Front Row: C. Nichols (Badge #5 ), and Roy Coffman (Bandge #3).