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:: Our History  

Past Chiefs of the Fall River Police Department

On a wall in the hallway of the Chief's office are pictures of all the City Marshals and Chiefs of Police from Rufus Hillard to present day.

Included is a brief summary of each chief's carrer.

Mentioned below are Police Divisions (Precincts) which are as follows:

  • Division One was Headquarters at 158 Bedford St our current Police Station
  • Division Two was on North Main St, and currently the north end Fire Station
  • Division Three was on Pleasant St and served the east end, or Flint section it is an office building today
  • Division Four was on Freedom St and served the south end, or Globe section


See Picture City Marshal Rufus B Hillard (1886-1909)
Arresting officer of record Lizzie Borden
  • Born in Maine on May 5th, 1849
  • Appointed May 15th 1879, went on duty May 21st 1879
  • Appointed Day Patrolman March 1880
  • Appointed Sergeant in February 1882
  • Appointed Asst. City Marshal March 2nd 1883
  • Appointed City Marshal March 29th 1886
  • Retired on a pension of $950 year June 15th 1909, to be paid weekly.
  • Died Monday morning December 30th 1912
See Picture City Marshal John Fleet (1909-1915)
  • Born in England on March 29th 1848
  • Appointed February 27th 1877, went on duty March 5th 1877
  • Appointed Day Patrolman on March 1st 1879
  • Appointed Sergeant on Feb 1st 1881
  • Appointed Captain on March 1st 1882
  • Appointed Asst. City Marshal December 22nd 1886
  • Appointed City Marshal November 8th 1909
  • Retired on pension of one-half pay in effect May 31st 1915
  • Died at his home at 12:30 PM May 10th 1916
NOTE: This is the transition period from City Marshal to Chief of Police.
See Picture Chief William N Medley (1915-1917)
  • Born in England on January 6th 1853
  • Appointed Steward February 2nd 1880, went on duty February 18th 1880
  • Appointed Patrolman on March 1st 1882
  • Transferred to Day Patrolman on April 1st 1886
  • Appointed Inspector with the rank of Lieutenant on February 10th 1893
  • Transferred to Night-Lieutenant at the 3rd Division as Inspector
  • Appointed Assistant City Marshal on January 21st 1910
  • Promoted to the rank of Chief of Police on September 27th 1915
  • Killed in an automobile accident at intersection of Linden and Locust Sts on September 15th1917
See Picture Chief Martin Feeney (1917-1931)
  • Born in England on January 1st 1886
  • Appointed Patrolman on December 30th 1885, went on duty January 1st 1886
  • Appointed to the permanent force on July 12th 1886
  • Promoted to Inspector with the rank of Lieutenant on February 10th 1893
  • Promoted to Chief Inspector with the rank of Captain
  • Reduced to rank of Lieutenant when rank of Chief Inspector was abolished on May 18th 1895
  • Transferred to the 1st Division as Day Lieutenant on February 18th 1903
  • Promoted to the rank of Captain to command the 3rd Division on November 2nd 1903
  • Transferred to command the 1st Division days on February 24th 1905
  • Transferred to command the 4th Division on November 5th 1909
  • Transferred to command the 1st Division on December 12th 1914
  • Promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief of Police on November 5th 1915
  • Promoted to the rank of Chief of Police on November 5th 1917
  • Retired on February 9th 1931 on half pay
See Picture Chief Abel J Violette (1931-1946)
  • Born in Van Buren, Maine on February 12th 1876
  • Occupation prior to PD was Motorman
  • Appointed April 13th 1900, went on duty April 23rd 1900
  • Worked as Patrolman on Routes #12,23,15,16 from 1900-1909
  • Transferred to Headquarters as Special Officer September 9th 1910
  • Appointed to rank of Inspector Lieutenant on September 27th 1915
  • Appointed Captain of Division #3 on July 21st 1924
  • Appointed Deputy Chief on May 26th 1930
  • Appointed Chief of Police on May 4th 1931
  • Retired on half pay on February 12th 1946, continued on as Emergency Chief until further orders
  • Died May 11th 1951
See Picture Chief Edward McMahon (1946-1952)
  • Born in Fall River, Mass on March 31st 1898, Occupation Carpenter
  • Appointed as a Reserve Officer on April 7th 1926, went on duty April 19th at Division One
  • Worked from 1927-1932 as unassigned in Divisions 2, and 3
  • Appointed Patrolman on Jan 11th 1932, worked night route #32, night motor route #5
  • Promoted to rank of Sergeant on June 13th 1937
  • Transferred to Investigative Division with rank of Detective Sergeant
  • Promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned to duty as instructor for regular and auxiliary police officers on November 14th 1943
  • Promoted to the rank of Chief of Police on July 15th 1946
  • Attended a 12 week course at the FBI Police Academy, Washington DC on Jan 6th 1947
  • Died on May 15th 1963
  • Retired on a salary of 2/3 his pay of $6100 yearly on February 7th 1952
See Picture Chief Charles A McDonald (1952-1956)
  • Born in Fall River, Mass on May 5th 1903, Occupation Telegrapher
  • Appointed as a Reserve Officer on December 4th 1929, went on duty December 23rd 1929
  • Worked Rotes #9, and 15 from 1929 to 1933
  • Promoted to the rank of Patrolman on January 1st 1933
  • Transferred to Division 4 Motor Car #6
  • Transferred to Motor Car #5 in Division 4 to cover Routes 41-45-48
  • Promoted to the rank of Sergeant on June 13th 1937
  • Transferred to Investigative Division as Detective Sergeant on June 21st 1937
  • Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and transferred to the Investigative Division Days
  • Transferred to Command the Special Squads on February 7th 1942
  • Promoted to the rank of Captain and remained in Command of the Special Squads on November 14th 1943
  • Promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief of Police on July 18th 1946
  • Assigned to duties of Acting Chief of Police on June 8th 1952 (Salary $6100)
  • Promoted to Chief of Police on March 29th 1953
  • Retired on May 20th 1956
  • Died on Mar 21st 1962
See Picture Chief Norman Bowers (1957-1969)
  • Born in Fall River, Mass on October 2nd 1913, Occupation Park Police Officer
  • Appointed Reserve Officer on March 3rd 1938, went on duty September 1st 1938
  • Worked Car #2 and Route 31 from November 1939 to April 20th 1943
  • Granted a leave of absence for duration of WWII
  • Reinstated on March 17th 1946
  • Transferred to Special Squads on November 24th 1946
  • Promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to Division 1 nights on June 15th 1947
  • Worked Divisions 3,1,4 nights from 1947 to 1950
  • Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and assigned Division 1 nights on April 2nd 1950
  • Worked Divisions 4 nights, 1 nights, 4 nights, 1 days, 2 nights from 1951 to 1953
  • Promoted to rank of Captain and transferred to the Investigative Division nights on December 26th 1954
  • Promoted to Chief of Police on May 27th 1956
  • Granted a leave of absence for the purpose of seeking elective office in this State from July 26th 1962 to September 19th 1962 and again on September 23rd 1962 to November 7th 1962
  • Returned to duty as Chief of Police on November 8th 1962
  • Retired on February 1st 1969
See Picture Chief James E Powers (1969-1974)
  • Born in Fall River Massachusetts on May 19th 1919, Occupation- night supervisor
  • Appointed reserve Officer on April 17th 1946, went on duty May 26th 1946 at Division 1, unassigned
  • Assigned to Record Room on July 21st 1946
  • Promoted to the rank of Patrolman on July 31st 1946
  • Promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to Headquarters on August 19th 1951
  • Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and assigned as Clerk to the Chief on September 26th 1954
  • Promoted to the rank of Captain to remain in present assignment on July 19th 1957
  • Transferred as Commanding Officer of Uniform Division, Division 1 on February 4th 1962
  • Promoted to the rank of Chief of Police on January 1st 1970
  • Died while in office on June 14th 1974
See Picture Chief Henry Ramos (1974-1980)
See Picture Chief Ramos in 1947
  • Born in Fall River, Massachusetts on September 5th, 1923
  • Appointed temporary provisional patrolman on April 16th 1947, went on duty on 27th at Division One unassigned.
  • Appointed permanent patrolman on June 22nd, 1947
  • Transferred to night route 12, Division one on August 10th 1947
  • Promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to Division 2, nights on August 19th 1951
  • Transferred to Division one nights on June 14th 1953
  • Transferred to Division 2 nights on May 13th 1956
  • Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and assigned to Division 4 nights on September 8th 1957
  • Transferred to Investigative Division Days, Division 1, on March 23rd 1958
  • Promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned to Division 4 on April 7th 1963
  • Transferred to the Special Squads on March 22nd 1964
  • Transferred to Inspectors Division days as relief Captain on October 9th 1966
  • Assigned to the Uniform Division to assist Capt. Powers on February 12th 1967
  • Transferred to Uniform Division nights on April 7th 1968
  • Transferred to Jail & Property Section days on April 29th 1968
  • Assigned as relief Captain north and south Commanders on August 20th 1972
  • Appointed to Commendation Board on July 11th 1973
  • Promoted to Deputy Chief of Police on September 30th 1973
  • Appointed acting Chief of Police on June 23rd 1974
  • Promoted to Chief of Police on May 11th 1975
  • Retired August 27th 1980
See Picture Chief Raymond E Conroy (1981-1985)
  • Born in Fall River Mass on November 5th 1920
  • Appointed temporary provisional Patrolman on April 16th 1947, went on duty April 27th 1947
  • Appointed permanent Patrolman on June 22nd 1947
  • Assigned to night route 16 out of Division 1 on August 10th 1947
  • Transferred to Division 3, unassigned, on July 3rd 1949
  • Granted a 3 month leave of absence without pay to accept appointment to Metro P.D.,Boston on October 5th 1950, effective January 14th 1951
  • Reinstated on February 25th 1951, and assigned to night route 17, Division 1
  • Promoted to the rank of Sergeant, Division 1 nights, on August 19th 1951
  • Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, Division 4 nights, on September 26th 1954
  • Transferred to the Investigative Division days on December 4th 1955
  • Transferred to Division 2 nights on May 13th 1956
  • Promoted to the rank of Captain, Division 4 days, on December 20th 1957
  • Transferred to Investigative Division, on March 29th 1959
  • Transferred to Division 2 on October 4th 1959
  • Transferred to Division 4 on March 22 1964
  • Assigned to Staff Services as assistant to Deputy Chief Ralph Crudele on February 12th 1967
  • Transferred to Uniform Division nights as night Commander on March 26th 1967
  • Assigned as relief Captain for Uniform Division, Criminal Investigations, Records & Communications on April 9th 1967
  • Transferred to Uniform Division days to assist Captain Powers on October 22nd 1967
  • Transferred back as relief Captain on November 19th 1967
  • Assigned as Commander of Special Services on March 15th 1970
  • Assigned as assistant Prosecutor (2nd District Court) on August 20th 1972
  • Transferred to Criminal Investigative Division on May 2nd 1973
  • Assigned to Uniform Division as relief Captain on May 8th 1974
  • Assigned as Commanding Officer of the Uniform Division on December 14th 1975
  • Promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief of Police in charge of all night watches on December 12th 1976
  • Assigned as Deputy Chief of Operations Bureau on March 20 1977
  • Assigned as Deputy Chief of Administration on August 8th 1980
  • Promoted to the rank of Chief of Police on July 5th 1981
  • Retired on August 2nd 1985
See Picture Chief Ronald J Andrade (1985-1989)
  • Born in Fall River on July 24th 1930
  • Appointed military substitutive Patrolman effective May 31st 1964, went on duty May 31st1964 as unassigned Division 1 nights
  • Appointed to permanent force on July 12th 1964 remained in present assignment
  • Assigned to Tactical Force on February 12th 1967
  • Promoted to the rank of Sergeant on Jan 14th 1968
  • Assigned as Commander of the Vice Squad on March 15th 1970
  • Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and assigned to Uniform Division nights on January 28th 1973
  • Promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned as Uniform Division Night Commander on December 14th 1980
  • Promoted to Deputy Chief of Operations on August 31st 1980

NOTE: This is a transition period where the Board of Police was reduced from Appointing Authority to an Advisory Board to the Mayor, and the Chief was no longer a Civil Service position but a Contractual Agreement of 3 years (1st term) 4 years (subsequent). The Chief reports directly to the Mayor. Prior to this the Chief could not accomplish anything significant without the Board's approval. The Board (appointed Civilians of all walks of life) approved assignments to the detective and other special units.

  • Appointed by Board of Police as Acting Chief of Police on January 1st 1985
  • Appointed by the Board of Police as Temporary Chief of Police on April 2nd 1985
  • Appointed Deputy Chief, Temporary Administrator in Charge of the Police Department as the position of Chief of Police was abolished under Civil Service on January 8th 1986
  • Appointed Chief of Police by contract on March 26th 1986
  • Chief Andrade died while in office on November 2nd 1989
See Picture Chief Francis J. McDonald (1989 - 2001)
  • Born in Fall River, Massachusetts on November 18th 1938
  • Appointed Patrolman on May 9th 1971 assigned to Uniform Division Nights
  • Transferred to Tactical Unit on 12-8-71
  • Transferred to Criminal Investigation Division on 12-13-72
  • Transferred to Vice Unit on March 7th 1976
  • Promoted to Sergeant and transferred to Internal Investigations Unit on January 30th 1977
  • Assigned to Investigative Services Unit on March 20th 1977
  • Transferred to Major Crimes Division on April 30th 1978
  • Transferred to Investigative Services Unit on June 18th 1978
  • Transferred to Uniform Division Nights on February 15th 1981
  • Promoted to Lieutenant on July 1st 1982 assigned to Uniform Division Days
  • Transferred to Major Crimes Division on May 18th 1986
  • Promoted to Deputy Chief of Administration on May 19th 1987
  • Appointed Chief of Police on November 9th 1989
See Picture  Chief John M. Souza (2001- Present)


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