Police Department History

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The city of El Cajon was incorporated in 1912. Law enforcement at that time was provided by a town marshal. During the early 1900’s no official police station is known to have existed. It is believed that the marshal probably worked out of the Corona Hotel at Main and Magnolia. However, some research shows that the town marshal may have worked from the Weinstock Building since it was the only building in El Cajon at the time that had a working telephone. The building still stands at Prescott and Main.

In 1928, El Cajon named Frank Jennings as its first police chief. He was replaced in 1933 by Chief Edward Menke. Chief Menke had one officer under his command and together they served a population of about 5,000.  


In 1941 a station was constructed at Main and Orange behind the Fire Station. The city named Rex Huffman as its new chief. Chief Huffman at this time had a five-man force. Crime during this time centered around public intoxication. There were bars on both sides of Main Street that were frequented by town members and citizens from Lakeside. The other problem was stray dogs. One of Chief Huffman’s first official acts as chief was to require the licensing of all dogs that lived in the city. By 1952 the city experienced a huge growth in population.    


A new station was built at 240 Highland Ave. In addition to the police station the building contained City Hall and a fire station. Joe O’ Connor was appointed chief; the department had 25 officers at this time.


The city continued to grow and a new state of the art station was built at 100 Fletcher Parkway in 1968. The department had 46 officers and policed a city of about 60,000.  


In 2011 the department moved to a new building at Civic Center Way. The city is currently policed by approximately 120 sworn officers. They serve a population of 100,000 people.

Photo of the El Cajon Police Department