Between 1846 and 1909, Law Enforcement for the City of Tyler was primarily provided by Federal Marshals. In 1909 the City hired its first police officer. That officer became Tyler’s first Chief of Police J.J. Ray in 1916. To date the City of Tyler has only had nine Police Chiefs.
The Tyler Police Department is authorized to have 194 sworn personnel and 59 non-sworn personnel. The sworn personnel consist of (1) Police Chief, (3) Assistant Police Chiefs, (6) Lieutenants, (27) Sergeants, (25) Investigators and (132) Officers.
In 1995 the Tyler Police Department became a fully Accredited Police Department. Of approximately 18,000 police departments nationwide there are about 450 agencies that have become accredited. Of that number Tyler is one of only 27 agencies in the State of Texas to have achieved this level of police professionalism. Accreditation provides objective evidence of an agency’s commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, and service-delivery. It also embodies the precepts of community-oriented policing.
There is extensive involvement within the community such as Neighborhood Crimewatches, Citizen Police Academies, Cultural Awareness Training, District Community Meetings, and school programs. In addition, we have an Explorer Program in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America and formed our own Police Academy in association with Tyler Junior College.