Meriden Historical Society collaborating with police on 150th anniversary exhibit

Meriden Historical Society collaborating with police on 150th anniversary exhibit

reporter photo

MERIDEN — The local historical society is working with members of the police department to collect memorabilia and photographs for an exhibit commemorating the department’s 150th anniversary in October.

The project is being spearheaded by Debora Patterson, a board member of the Meriden Historical Society, Police Chief Jeffry Cossette and Officer Mike Ford.

The Meriden Police Department started as a night watchmen group of four men in 1868 and has since evolved into a department with about 120 members.

“We’re trying to fill in the back story of what the operations were really like,” Patterson said. “It’s all about public service. What they’ve done and what they’ve meant to the community.”

Cossette is working with current and retired officers to collect police memorabilia.

One goal is to collect photographs of all 20 chiefs in the department’s history, Cossette said. The only photo the department is missing is one of William Beach, the city’s second police chief.

“I find it very interesting to see how we’ve grown,” Cossette said. 

Patterson said the group is looking for historical photographs, uniforms, and personal stories. The historical society will accept donations or items on loan for the exhibit

The exhibit will be open to the public at the Andrews Homestead, 424 W. Main St., every Sunday in October, Patterson said. There will be a special viewing for the police department on Sunday, Sept. 30.

The police department is holding a community day on Friday, Sept. 28 at the Meriden Green from 5 to 8 p.m. with live music, food trucks and family friendly activities. The department is also holding a gala on Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Aqua Turf.

Anyone with information or items to share can contact the Meriden Historical Society at 203-639-1913 or by email at

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