The first official town constables, John H. Demarest, Charles George and James G. Titus, were appointed in 1898. On May 6, 1901, the township clerk authorized the purchase of one pair of handcuffs for use by the constable, with a second pair ordered on June 2, 1902. On June 4, 1900, the first traffic ordinance was passed, prohibiting bicycle riding on the paths upon roadside, and on May 5, 1902, a town speed limit of 8 mph through the township was established for motorcycles, automobiles and bicycles.
On September 10, 1912, the Bergen County Detective Association, (New Jersey Ranger Detective Association) was organized with headquarters on Summit Avenue (now Broadway) in Hillsdale. At one point, the association had 20 members, known as 'Pursuers'. The Rawson twins of Hillsdale, Albert W. and Alpheus E., became famous as early lawmen in the Rangers, all of whose trustees were Hillsdale residents.
The first regular police department began to take form in 1921 when 11 special police officers were sworn in with John Hartlieb named as Acting Chief. The town ordered badges and clubs and the Chief had to report monthly to the township committee. In 1926, the town purchased its first police car. The first official Chief of Police was Lawrence J. Foley, who was appointed on July 13, 1928 James A. Holland and William F. Bulach, who later served as Chief, were appointed as the first regular patrolmen.
The board of Trade donated the kiosk police booth, which opened Christmas Day; 1925.The first traffic lights were installed at the corner of Hillsdale Avenue and Broadway in July 1927. In January 1931, the police headquarters was moved from the police booth to the Borough Hall building, which also housed the Fire Department.
The Police Department remained in the old Borough Hall until the present Borough Hall building was constructed in 1973. In 1989, under Detective Sergeant Peter Hard; Hillsdale's D.A.R.E. program (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) was initiated and continues today to educate children on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The police department held its first Open House and participated in the Memorial Day Parade with an Honor Guard in 1994. A Police Memorial was placed in front of the police station on Memorial, Day 1998, to honor those who served the Hillsdale Police Department.
The police force is currently led by Police Chief E. Chip Stalter and Capt Robert Francaviglia, consists of two detectives, 18 police officers, 3 full time dispatchers, 7 per diem dispatchers and an auxiliary membership of 15. The department is also in charge of the 15 crossing guards who safely guide Hillsdale's youth across the many busy intersections in town. Using a variety of the latest in law enforcement technology, the Hillsdale Police Department.
(As taken from the Hillsdale Centennial book 1998).