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Mayor George Sanderson formed the Lancaster City Police force in 1865. The first Chief of Police was Charles R. Frailey who oversaw 21 night policemen who were successful in restoring order.

The first lock up was located in the basement of the Fulton Hall, now known as the Fulton Opera House, and remained there from 1852 until 1868.

Today the Lancaster Bureau of Police is a full service police department providing service to the City of Lancaster and from 1970 to 2009, to Lancaster Township on a contractual basis. The Bureau is the largest and only urban law enforcement agency in Lancaster County, serving a population of 60,000 residents. Current manpower consists of approximately 145 sworn officers and 46 civilian employees.

For more information on the City of Lancaster’s Bureau of Police visit

National Night Out

National Night Out began in 1984 as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Held the first Tuesday in August each year, various neighborhoods throughout the City host NNO events and block parties. To host a block party in your neighborhood during NNO, please complete a Residential Block Party Application. For questions, please call the Lancaster Office of Promotion at 717-291-4758 or