Although the Greensboro Police Department did not come into existence as an officially sanctioned governmental agency until 1889, its roots extend back for several prior decades.
Guilford County was settled during the mid-1700s by German, Scots-Irish, and Quaker immigrants. In 1771, Governor Ingram officially established Guilford County, and Guilford Courthouse was named as the county seat in 1774. By 1781, this small village had a population of several hundred residents.
In 1807, the North Carolina State Legislature authorized the creation of the town of Greensborough. The following year, the city was formally established on a 42-acre site, and in 1809 it became the county seat. In 1810, the General Assembly passed a legislative charter for the town of Greensborough, which set forth its first set of town regulations.
Commissioners of Police
Six men were appointed as Commissioners of Police and were charged with preserving law and order. These commissioners continued to be appointed for the next 14 years.
In 1824, Greensborough became a self-governing town. It was placed under the charge of five Town Commissioners, one of whom was the Town Constable. Five years later, in 1829, the Town Commissioners appointed the first "Public Officer," a position which was the forerunner of the modern police officer. John McClintock Logan, 31, received the appointment. His duties also included being the town's Tax Collector. At the time of his appointment, Officer Logan policed a town about one-quarter of a square mile, with a population of 369 citizens. Employed on a part-time basis, he enforced nine regulatory town ordinances, for which he received an annual salary of $15.