MERIDEN — The Meriden Historical Society coordinated the donation of a 113-year-old photograph of police department members in a ceremony at the police station on Wednesday.
The photograph was found among the belongings of former teacher and local historian Dan DeLuca after he died three years ago.
The framed image, dated March 1, 1906, shows the 16 members of the Meriden police department at the time of the city’s centennial.
Deborah Patterson, Meriden Historical Society board member, said she believes the photograph ran in one of the city’s newspapers as part of Meriden’s centennial celebration.
“It shows five chiefs of the department,” Patterson said, noting the chief in 1906 as well as four officers who would go on to become chief up until 1932. “There’s a very cool backstory to all of them.”
Sheri DeLuca said her father researched many local historical topics, but she has no idea how he came to own the photograph.
Sheri DeLuca loaned it to the historical society for the police department’s 150th anniversary last year and decided to donate it to the department.
“I felt that’s where it belonged,” she said Wednesday. “It’s where dad would have wanted it.”
Police Chief Jeffrey Cossette accepted the photograph on the department’s behalf, saying it meant a lot to officers.
Cossette said he will make sure it is placed so people can view it. He talked with Captain Nicholas Sherwood about placing it in the glass display cases in the department lobby. In the meantime, Cossette hung the photograph in his office.