As discussed before, before, and before, the San Bernardino Police Department, by council action and by action of the voters to amend the Charter of the City of San Bernardino in 1937 and 1939, expanded as the City came out of the Great Depression into the early World War II period.

    The Mayor and Common Council again put another police-related Charter revision on the ballot on November 3, 1942, a special municipal election consolidated with a California general election.

    There were a total of seven propositions for the City of San Bernardino (competing for attention with California and County propositions and measures).  They were labeled Propositions 20 through 26, and three passed, and four failed.

    Since the focus is on the expansion of the San Bernardino Police Department and the run-up to the addition of section 186 to the Charter of the City of San Bernardino in 1955, the item of interest was the second of seven, Proposition 21.

    Proposition 21 (1942) also known as Proposed Charter Amendment No. Two

    That Section 181 of the City Charter of the City of San Bernardino be amended to read as follows, to-wit:

    “Section 181. The Police Department shall consist of a Chief of Police, and such officers and other policeman as the Mayor and Common Council may from time to time determine.”

    The voters approved it by 62.96 percent:

    Proposition No. 21: (Police) Yes        5,326
    No 3,133
    Total 8,459

    The 1942 amendments are very close to today’s section 181, last passed in the 2004 (operative 2006) Charter:

    Section 181. Police Department – Membership. The Police Department shall consist of a Chief of Police, and as many ranking officers, police officers and other employees as the Mayor and Common Council may from time to time determine.

     

     

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