Parma Police History


The Parma Police Department was organized in 1925 when the City of Parma moved from a township to a village form of government. At the time, the Police Department consisted of two deputy Marshals and the first chief law enforcement officer, Marshal Charles Tesar. The Police Department and Fire Department were located in the basement of the Town Hall located at Ridge and Bean Rd. (now W. Ridgewood Dr.). In the summer of 1926 Parma lost the only officers that were ever killed in the line of duty, Deputies Michael Beuerlien and Clinton Wolf. In 1931 Parma became a city and Marshal Tesar became Chief Charles Tesar the first Chief of Police of the City of Parma. Chief Tesar passed away in August of 1931. Today, Chief Joseph Bobak is the city’s 9th Chief of Police.

In 1934 the police department was moved to Snow and Dresden Ave. where again the Police and Fire departments shared the facility. In 1953 the Police department moved to 5750 W. 54th Street. The W. 54th St facility was originally constructed to provide for a compliment of 45 men with provisions for expansion to 90 men. However, the police were asked to share the building with the Parma Municipal Court. By 1964 the police department grew to 59 police officers, including two captains, four lieutenants, two sergeants, four detectives, and ten civilians. The equipment consisted of eight squad cars, four unmarked cars, five motorcycles and one sign truck. By 1970 the police department was made up of 80 officers, 19 civilians, and 24 full time court personnel. In 1990 the shooting range located in the basement of the building was closed due to lead contamination and health concerns.

In 2000 approximately 200 police and court personnel moved to our current location at 5555 Powers Blvd. This facility contains just over 84,000 square feet of space dedicated to the Police Department, Correction Facility, and Court Facility. Today, the department personnel include 113 sworn officers, which includes the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police, Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants, Patrol Officers, and Detectives. The department also has Corrections Officers, and civilian personnel. 

Historical data obtained from the Parma Police Historical Society.