The Oak Ridge Police Department (ORPD) was originally formed as a military police unit of the United States Army in 1942 to provide a secure community for workers supporting the Manhattan Project during World War II. At that time, the federal facility known as the “Clinton Engineering Works,” was commonly referred to as “Oak Ridge,” a name formally adopted in 1949. In 1947, management of Oak Ridge was transferred from the U.S. military to the Atomic Energy Commission under civilian control. In 1959, the town was incorporated and a City Manager and City Council form of government was adopted.
Today, ORPD is a service organization employing commissioned law enforcement officers and support staff. The organization provides protection for people who live and work in the City of Oak Ridge and strives to prevent crime and disorder. Services are provided by forging and maintaining partnerships within the community, working closely with customers to identify and address common crime and safety issues. The department coordinates with other organizations to plan for and respond to emergencies and critical incidents.
Services are provided by way of specialized divisions, including a uniformed patrol division, which patrols the city in marked police cars, responding to calls for service and investigating crimes. The department works to improve the safety of motorists through traffic enforcement and driver education efforts. The criminal investigations division is responsible for following up on serious crimes and performing plainclothes operations. The communications division manages all public safety telecommunications, relaying information to fire and police units, and coordinating radio interoperability. The support services division manages all community policing, records management, supply chain, training, and animal control efforts. This is accomplished through teams with specialized training and skills for each assignment.