The Beginning

From the Town of Southern Pines’ quiet beginnings on March 7th, 1887, with a population of fifty and in a time when the only law and order was a justice of the peace, the Southern Pines Police Department has emerged into what it is today: a modern, self-sufficient, full service law enforcement organization that is a model for others to emulate.

The early portions of our department’s history were marred by some tragedies and included the presence of two departments (Southern Pines and West Southern Pines). Since then, our Police Department has progressively evolved by bringing technological advances to the forefront, providing highly qualified personnel who promote an efficient, well-run organization while maintaining strong ties that we share with the community we serve.


As the evolution of our department has progressed from that first car, that first radio, that first computer, our proudest accomplishments have come from bringing in unique and knowledgeable people into our family, providing them the opportunities and training few departments our size can match, and meeting the needs and experiencing the successes our department exhibits today.

We have always worked with our community and the citizens, and continue to do so, through our emphasis on the importance of relationships and with ongoing community outreach programs.

Second Century of Service

As we are in our second century of service, we recognize and respect those tragedies of our early past. In doing so, we continue to strive to learn and grow in the present and to have those that will follow us in the future will be proud of our efforts and dedication we put forth today.

Service Area

The Southern Pines Police Department serves a community of approximately 12,000 citizens. The department consists of approximately 45 sworn, nonsworn, and volunteer personnel, all of whom are dedicated to the enforcement of law and improving the quality of life in the Town of Southern Pines through a dedicated focus on public safety.

History of 911

In 1967, the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended the creation of a single, universal number that could be used from coast-to-coast to report emergencies. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was then charged with spearheading this bold initiative. In turn, the FCC met with AT&T in November of that year in order to devise a solution.

In the first days of 1968, AT&T chose a brief, easy to remember, and simple to dial number: 911. In Alabama, then president of the independent Alabama Telephone Company (ATC), Bob Gallagher, read a report of the AT&T 911 announcement in the Wall Street Journal. Gallagher’s entrepreneurial and competitive nature moved him to be the first to implement the 911 service. An ATC employee, Robert Fitzgerald, recommended Haleyville as the launch site. Gallagher later issued a press release announcing that the 911 service would go live in Haleyville on February 16, 1968.

Circuitry work and installation were both quickly completed, and just 35 days after AT&T's announcement, the first-ever 911 call was placed. It was placed from the City Hall by Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite to U.S. Representative Tom Bevill at the city's police station.

(Source: National Emergency Number Association)