The Waco Police Department began with the election of a Town Marshall, as provided by the first city charter, in 1871.
The city charter called for annual elections and gave the Mayor the power to appointfour officers that year. Every year, after the election, special committees made recommendationsto the Mayor on who should be hired as city employees.
Sometimes the police department would have a whole new staff every year. Some form of this system of hiring and firing was used all the way up to the 1930s.
The largest definitive turning point in the history of the Waco Police Department, the Public Administration Survey of 1956 marks the department's transition into a modern police department.