Department History

History of the Highwood Police Department

Early Highwood residents referred to their law enforcement officers as Marshals.

The first Marshal in Highwood was appointed in 1887.

The Marshals were faced with a problem after an amusement center named Fort Sheridan Park was created at the corner of Clay Street and Sheridan Road. The park’s rustic beauty and entertainment attracted large liquor-seeking crowds who arrived in Highwood aboard trolley cars. Marshals complained to the trustees that patrolling the city and park was too much work for two people. Therefore, in 1896, the trustees voted to establish a police department. The village board ordered residents to help the police with emergency tasks if called. This gave officers more time to attend to their regular duties of “protecting strangers at the railroad depot,” and “fining people who allowed their cows and pigs to run loose in the streets or stroll on the sidewalks”.

During World War II, the cooperation between the Highwood Police Department and the Fort Sheridan Military Police established a national record for “lawfulness” in a city bordering an army base during wartime. Highwood’s reputation led President Theodore Roosevelt to call it “the toughest town in America”.

Today, the Highwood Police Department provides a wide range of services to the community. The department is staffed by 13 full time and 15 part time officers.