Photo:
Weird History

What US Police Officers Looked Liked Throughout History

Ask any child, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and you might receive this classic answer: "a police officer." Colloquially referred to as the fuzz, cops, or boys in blue, police officers ensure safety and protection for citizens on a local level. 

These fascinating historical photos offer a rare glimpse at police through the decades, from the segregated, male-only forces of the early 20th century, to 21st-century first responders sent to quell politically charged unrest. These photos brilliantly capture the storied past of some of our most recognizable civil servants.

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  • Chicago Police Officers During The Chicago City Railway Strike Of 1903

    Chicago Police Officers During The Chicago City Railway Strike Of 1903
    Photo: Chicago History Museum/Archive Photos / Getty Images
  • New York City Police Officers Checking Out A Seven-Pound Automatic Rifle

    New York City Police Officers Checking Out A Seven-Pound Automatic Rifle
    Photo: Bettmann / Getty Images
  • NYC Motorcycle Officers Circa 1910, Wearing Newly Issued Revolver Holster Belts

    NYC Motorcycle Officers Circa 1910, Wearing Newly Issued Revolver Holster Belts
    Photo: George Rinhart/Corbis Historical / Getty Images
  • The First Female Traffic Officer In Washington, DC, Circa 1918

    The First Female Traffic Officer In Washington, DC, Circa 1918
    Photo: Universal History Archive / Getty Images