Newark Police Band

by Dennis Beyer


Boom, Boom, Boom Boom Boom.

That's the sounds, I remember, of the big base drum playing in the Newark Police Band. I heard that beat during the late 1940's through the 1950's. The badge above was from that time frame.

Thinking Back, I recall seeing the N.J. National Guard, with Tanks, Jeeps, and Soldiers, parade down Broad Street in Newark, N.J. They were impressive, but somehow the above badge reminds me of the moment when the Newark Police Marching Band approached the reviewing stand in on the steps of City Hall. In front of the Mayor and Council they played "Stars and Stripes Forever," and then they marched away to the cheers of their loyal supporters.

This Band was good, and was frequently invited to participate in parades in neighboring communities. They once did a special performance for veterans at Lyons Hospital up "in the mountains." It was far from the City and my Mom and Dad took me to see it. I also recall this Band in a competition in a N.J. shore community called Asbury Park. In addition to the usual Drum Major there was also the unusual addition of a Drum Majorette. I am not sure where she came from, but the N.P.D. Band really looked exceptional that day.

My Dad was in the Police Band. At one point in time I had a large picture from the 1930's showing the musicians on the steps of City Hall. If I looked hard I could find my father with his clarinet back in the second row.

Another picture I had was from 1954. It showed The Band again on the steps of City Hall. Standing in front were some City official; the Drum Major, his name was Cookie; and my Dad. He was now the Commander of the Newark Police Band.

I donated the pictures to the F.O.P. Museum a few years ago, but not the Badge. That is in my "Newark Collection," hanging on my wall. It is more than a badge. It is a memory.


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