John Janssen 1888-1921

John Janssen 1888-1921John Janssen, the first Chief appointed by the Fire and Police Commission, took office at age 33, serving 33 years as Chief. The Department grew from 181 to 649 personnel and many Department "firsts" took place while he was Chief. The fingerprint system was introduced (1907), Milwaukee's first motorized ambulances went into service (1910), the first motorcycle patrol was started (1910), traffic postmen were assigned (1914) and the first and only police band in America was established. The south side also received its first station at First and Mineral Streets in 1891.

Patrolmen earned $70 per month, working 12-hour days, seven days a week, with 10 days vacation per year.

Chief Janssen became known as "The Czar", both by the criminals and his men, for his strict enforcement of the law and Department rules. The keeper of a gambling house could be fined from $100 to $500 and a patrolman docked five days pay for neglect of duty. He was, however, also proclaimed the "Father of The Milwaukee Metropolitan Police Force", and was named president of the Nation Association of Chief's of Police form 1897 to 1899. Milwaukee's population had now grown to 210,000, producing a ratio of one patrolman for every 567 citizens, compared to other cities that averaged about 1,800.