RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Capitol Police celebrated 400 years of service on Tuesday with a ceremony at the Executive Mansion featuring Gov. Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam.
At the ceremony, Northam signed a proclamation declaring Sunday, Nov. 18 as Virginia Capitol Police Day across the state; an homage to the date formally recognized as the agency's birthday since its inception in 1618. The Capitol Police Force is the oldest operating law enforcement body in the country.
The agency, which first appeared as a security force to protect the governor at the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown, has been feted several times in its 400th anniversary year, including a resolution by the General Assembly, a congressional resolution, one from the office of Virginia’s lieutenant governor and one from the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. In addition, an exhibit focusing on the 400-year history of the Capitol Police opened in the Virginia Capitol Annex in August and will remain until January
“The Virginia Capitol Police has a long and distinguished history, first in Jamestown and then in Williamsburg, before eventually moving to Richmond,” said Col. Anthony S. Pike, the agency’s chief. “We are committed to providing progressive law enforcement to the seat of Virginia’s government, and it is humbling to us to have Governor Northam and the first lady make time to recognize those efforts and our proud history.”