By Bruce Karnick [email protected] Hastings was incorporated as a city in the State of Minnesota in 1857. During that time, law enforcement or safety issues were handled by a City Marshal or …
By Bruce Karnick
Hastings was incorporated as a city in the State of Minnesota in 1857. During that time, law enforcement or safety issues were handled by a City Marshal or Town Constable, which were civil positions. In 1858, a city ordinance was passed paving the way for an official Hastings Police Department. This authorized the hiring of police officers for the city.
July 15, 1858, a letter to the editor in the Hastings Independent questioned the need for the city to pay $25 to $30 per week for policemen. The letter encouraged people and private businesses to question the city where the funds were going to come from. ‘Our opinion is that this city needs three policemen about as much as a dog needs three tails.’ The letter concluded with.
Fast forward 163 years later and the City of Hastings has a police force just a little bigger than three men. Chief Bryan Schafer leads that current force, and he was presented with a unique item from the annals of history last week.
The item is a badge that was believed to be worn by one of those first three police officers. The officer who’s badge it is also believed to be is that of Albert Jacobson. Jacobson was shot to death July 10, 1894, while pursuing a burglary suspect.
The Hastings Police Department has made public appeals to relatives of Jacobson to share photographs or other mementos. The requests finally bared some fruit in 2018 when Jacbson’s fifth generation descendant, Gloria Hagestuen, came forward and shared two family photos of Jacobson. Hagestuen was instrumental in reaching out to other ancestors of Jacobson which resulted in the most recent discovery of the badge.
Thank you to the Jacobson family for allowing us to get a glimpse of our towns history and for assisting with the acquisition of the badge.