Originally, the residents of the three villages of Ladue, Deer Creek and McKnight relied upon the St. Louis County Sheriff’s or Constable’s office for the enforcement of law and order. Private watchmen were hired to patrol resident’s properties for additional protection at night.
Concerned with the watchmen’s lack of authority to make arrests, the villages established a Town Marshall in 1929. As the villages developed and population increased, interest in organizing a police department grew.
In April 1931, a representative body of property owners met at the St. Louis Country Club. A police association was formed and a committee appointed. The villages organized a five man joint police force as an outgrowth of this meeting and the committee that followed.
This first five man police force provided services to Ladue and Deer Creek. (The Village of McKnight elected to continue using night watchmen.) The force was supported partially by tax dollars and supplemented with $10 per month voluntary contributions from residents along with the St. Louis Country Club, Log Cabin Club and the Bogey Club.
On July 31, 1931, this new Ladue Police Department commenced duties. Ralph E. Strain was appointed Chief. His monthly salary was $175. His patrolman received $150 per month. The Chief and his patrolman provided their own uniforms and equipment, and used their own personal cars to patrol. Their first offices were in the parking lot of the St. Louis Country Club. Residents called the club to request police assistance.
In 1936, the three villages merged and the City of Ladue was established. The Ladue Police Department now had jurisdiction over the City and, for the first time, residents were afforded 24 hour police protection. The new police department was offered a spot in the City Hall/Fire Department building, located in the same spot as our present day City Hall at 9345 Clayton Road.
On duty firemen answered calls during the day while a civilian police clerk handled the night time calls.
In 1938, the Ladue City Council authorized an addition to City Hall to house the expanded police operation. And, in 1939, the Ladue Police Department moved into their new quarters.
The Ladue Police Department was the first area agency to use a two way FM radio system. The Department was the first to use vehicular radar in patrol cars. The Detective Bureau was formed and the department grew over the years in relation to a growing population and resident needs.
The Ladue Police Department is committed to excellence in law enforcement and is dedicated to the people of this community. The City of Ladue is proud of its performance over the last six years in addressing community concerns regarding traffic-stop data. In 2010, the City of Ladue Police Chief signed a community outreach agreement with the Department of Justice. The department reports regular data and has remained compliant each year. The Ladue Police Chief is only one of two police chiefs in St. Louis County to voluntarily sign and abide by this agreement.
Today, the Ladue Police Department has a very clear traffic safety policing strategy focused on hazardous moving violations that have a high correlation with accidents and injuries. Examples of these are speeding, reckless driving, rolling stops, and driving under the influence, etc. Less than 12% of all traffic tickets are written for violations unrelated to safety.
The Ladue Police Department maintains its original commitment to the citizens of Ladue and continues to provide the highest quality of police protection with the greatest integrity. If a citizen has a suggestion or concern about the policing strategy or a specific incident, please feel free to contact Ladue Police Chief Rich Wooten.
Ladue Police Department
9345 Clayton Rd
Ladue, MO 63124