Delaware Capitol Police

Delaware Capitol Police
Delaware Capitol Police patch

The Delaware Capitol Police was founded as a three-man unit in 1965 to deter vandalism at the Legislative Hall, Delaware. The unit was originally known as Capitol Security.

Responsibilities were eventually expanded to cover other state-owned properties in Delaware while the unit remained unfunded (being maintained completed through donations and transfer of equipment from other law enforcement agencies). Officers initially received no formal training and were armed only with a nightstick, handcuffs and tear gas.

In 1974, Delaware Director of Administrative Services Thomas Murray overhauled the organization, providing policing and firearms training. Having been sworn in as constables, the officers now had the power of arrest on state property. New equipment and uniforms were issued at this time and the organisation became known as the Capitol Security Police.

In 1980 the organization adopted its current name. Arrest powers were expanded statewide in 1982. Further changes in 1995 saw a redesign of the patch worn by officers and integration of communications systems with the Delaware State Police in order to improve response times to emergencies.



The Delaware Capitol Police have jurisdiction over State-owned properties in all three counties, serving all three branches of government - executive, judicial, and legislative. Most notably, the Capitol Police provide security screening and patrol services in Delaware's courthouses, including investigating crimes taking place within the courthouses, responding to security incidents in courtrooms, supplementing security services provided by court bailiffs, detaining individuals who are found at the courthouse with open capiases, and taking newly-convicted or sentenced defendants into custody pending transfer to the Delaware Department of Correction. The Capitol police also provide security and screening services at the Delaware State Capitol, ensuring security of the Delaware judiciary, and providing executive protection at the Governor's official residence, Woodburn.


The Capitol Police consists of 69 npersonnel, these include a Chief, two captains, two lieutenants, eight sergeants, twenty-nine sworn officers, twenty-four security officers, a dispatcher, and an administrative specialist


The Delaware Capitol Police maintains police officers and security officers in all three of Delaware's counties servicing all three branches of state government. DCP headquarters is in the Tatnall Building in Dover. The Delaware Capitol Police also maintains two explosive detection canine teams and a detective.

The Northern Operation services:

  • New Castle County Courthouse
  • Carvel State Building

The Central Operation services:

The Southern Operation services:

  • Sussex County Courthouse
  • Sussex County Family Court
  • Sussex County Court of Chancery

Delaware Capitol Security

The DCP employs Capitol Security Officers who operate the magnetometers and x-ray machines at the entrances to the courthouses, Legislative Hall, and the Carvel State Building. They are responsible for the screening, and if necessary the searching, of employees, visitors, and packages entering the courthouse. Capitol Security Officers are trained in the use of magnetometers, x-ray machines, handcuffing, defensive aerosol sprays, and certified in performing CPR, using AED's (automatic external defibrillator), and providing First Aid. Senior Security Officers are Capitol Security Officers who attend one of the seasonal police officer training courses provided by a Delaware police agency under the guidelines established by the Delaware Council on Police Training. Once completed they become Senior Security Officers and after being sworn in are granted the legal authority to detain individuals while in the performance of their official duties. Senior Security Officers are recognized by the dark blue sleeve worn on the epaulets of their uniform shirts.

See also

Portal icon Delaware portal
Portal icon Law enforcement/Law enforcement topics portal


External links

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