Colton Police Officer's Association


Colton PD C.P.O.A.


The Colton Police Officers Association proudly represents the men and women of the Colton Police Department, and has been providing services and community outreach for over 45 years. Our primary mission is to be the voice of our members through advocacy, while providing support services and benefits through legal representation. Secondly, we strive to establish and maintain open lines of communication with the Colton Police Department administrators, city leaders, local businesses, and civic groups to enhance our partnerships, and make Colton a better place to live and work.

Over the past few years, the CPOA has focused on building relationships with allied associations; maintaining financial responsibly after suffering significant financial losses from previous years; and establishing a reputation as a professional organization throughout the state. I am proud of how far the CPOA has come over the past few years. Our success is credited to the leadership of your board, and a united membership. We have welcomed new officers within our ranks that have shown an overwhelming enthusiasm to serve by being an integral part of the association.

Law enforcement continues to face new challenges and perceptions. Our association has risen to those challenges by actively being involved within our community, and by being a “good partner” to those we work with. This can be seen in this report which was titled “CPOA – Moving Forward “

It has truly been an honor and privilege to represent our membership for the last four years, and hope that you as a citizen, business owner, peace officer or city leader can continue to support the Colton Police Officers Association.


Rich Randolph
President – Colton Police Officers Association President (CPOA) PORAC Inland Chapter Secretary

The CPOA is a proud member of:
Peace Officers Research of California (PORAC)
Inland Chapter PORAC
Southern California Alliance of Law Enforcement (SCALE) Colton Chamber of Commerce


Colton Police formed their first union in 1971 and was known as Colton Police Benevolent Association.

  • Prior to this they were known as a Club

  • During this time all Public Employees could unionize and form a union.

  • Colton Police were allowed to separate from the city and form their own Association. They were given the right to bargain for their contract.

  • Dues were raised by $10.00 a month to cover the cost of an attorney

  • Before the association was formed the Chief of Police did the negotiations for the department.

  • During one of the first contract negotiations the city offered a $2.61 a month raise which was turned down. Association members were forced to picket on order to get a better deal


Today, the CPOA Proudly represents its 50 members, down from 71 members in 2005. The Colton Police

Officers Association is dedicated to helping make a safe environment for its employees, negotiations and

good contacts with the city and staff and be a partner in the Community of Colton.

The department recently celebrated the one year anniversary of our new patrol units. In March of 2014, nine 2014 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor sedans were placed into patrol duty. In addition to the Taurus sedans, our two K9 officers received Ford Police Interceptor SUV’s in January and April of 2015 to replace their ageing units.

Our new fleet of Taurus’s were outfitted with all new equipment permitting the standardization of the emergency lighting package as well as interior equipment and layout. The new light bar utilizes the latest LED technology in combination with supplementary secondary lighting significantly increases the units visibility and presence.

Some of the new Taurus’s features

  • All Wheel Drive

  • Heavy Duty Suspension

  • Heavy Duty Brakes

  • Valor LED Light bar with front flood light

  • Multi-Directional push bar lighting

  • Uniform Equipment and Interior Lay-Out

  • Rear Facing Emergency Trunk Lighting – Provides Rear Blue/Amber when trunk is open

  • New Decal Design


The history of the Colton Police Department began when Virgil Earp, brother to the famous Wyatt Earp was elected Colton’s first marshal. Virgil’s father, Nicholas P. Earp owned the Gem Saloon and served as the City Clerk for Colton. His son, Wyatt Earp applied to operate a gambling hall in Colton but was turned down by City Hall.

In the early 1900’s, the title of Town Marshall was changed to Chief of Police and the position was appointed by the City Council. Originally the Town Marshall owned his own horse but administered police service from the new city hall in 1890. He booked prisoners, after transporting them in a wheelbarrow, into a two-room cell too low for a man to stand in. Colton grew in square mileage, which required the council to furnish a horse; they raised the Chief’s salary to $75.00 per month.

As Colton entered the 20th Century, a strong foundation for law and order was built. In 1884, the last convict was hanged in San Bernardino for a Colton homicide stemming from a love triangle. In the South part of Colton lays Reche Canyon, an area full of natural vegetation and wildlife. Bandits often harassed travelers stealing their horses and cattle along an old stage road that wound along the tops of the hills. One tale maintains that an organized crime wave in Reche Canyon was broken up after outlaws stole money and as many sacks of flour as they could carry from a prosperous local flour mill. What the bandits didn’t realize was that in their haste to make a getaway in the middle of the night, the flour sacks leaked. When the mill was opened the next morning, a trail of flour identified the route back to the hideout. There are rumors of a mystery gold mine in the canyon but no one knows where to look for it.

In early 1932 the Police Department recruited its original citizen volunteers as merchants walked nightly patrols for the beat officers. Throughout the 30’s, vagrancy and hobos impacted the police calls for service. Police from all over California looked upon Colton, the Hub City, as an important point to observe the transient flow for wanted suspects.

In 1937 the city purchased two police cars and two motorcycles. Technology, as primitive as it was, allowed the placement of radios in both of those cars. The police now required a Chief, an Assistant Chief, two sergeants, two motor officers and four patrolmen.

By 1940 the police department installed radios in all their police cars and the station. The frequency was shared by neighboring cities; this remained a constant through the early 1970’s. Complaints of speeding vehicles, curfew violations, panhandling and burglaries have dominated police calls for 100 years.

Colton has grown from a one-man department in 1887; today, Colton is a full-service police department comprised of three divisions, staffed by 80 men and women who are responsible for carrying out the department mission.


The City of Colton, incorporated in 1887, is an “American Classic” with a very colorful past and proud history. Strategically located in the heart of Southern California, Colton is at the crossroads of the Inland Empire. The city nickname, the Hub City, is due to its location where two transcontinental rail roads come together.

Colton was originally inhabited by the Gua-chama, Serrano and San Gorgonio Indians. In the 1770’s explorers from Mexico brought European settlers to the area while searching routes from Sonora, Mexico to Monterey.

By 1840, Colton was part of two large ranchos, the Jurupa and the San Bernardino Ranchos. The southwest section is referred to as Agua Mansa, meaning “Gentle Waters.” In 1842 the area was settled by New Mexico pioneers.

The town of Colton came about during the construction of the Southern Pacific Railway through the valley from Los Angeles in 1875. The town was named after Civil War General David Colton who was also the Vice President of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. In 1854, George Cooley from Kent, England, purchased 200 acres along the Santa Ana River. He later expanded it to 400 acres, all in Colton. The ranch was sold to Vilelli Enterprises and is now the Cooley Ranch.

The first Fire Department was made up of volunteers from local businessmen, ranchers and farmers. They fought fires with water buckets. The first fire apparatus was purchased by the City, October 16, 1889. It consisted of one hose cart, 1,000 feet of 2-inch hose and 3 fire extinguishers. This hose cart was pulled by the firemen throughout the streets of Colton. In May of 1892, the city purchased a hook and ladder cart that was also hand drawn by the firemen. Both pieces of equipment were used until 1905, when a horse drawn hose wagon was put into service. By 1914, a new motorized engine was bought. This was the first motorized engine in the San Bernardino Valley. Engine #1 was a white triple combination (pump, hose, and chemical rig). It sported the best trim and gold leaf insignias the decorators could find. The emblems on the side of the hose bed were gold hubs, representing the “Hub City.” This engine was chain driven and had solid rubber tires to support the massive weight.

On October 16, 1889, Colton voted for the erection of a City hall and it was completed in 1890. The first meeting in City Hall was on September 1, 1890.

The Colton Woman’s Club initiated a campaign and Cramer B. Morris, City Attorney, negotiated a $10,000 donation from the Carnegie foundation to build a library. The City Council agreed to set aside $1,000 annually for the building’s maintenance and residents of Colton contributed $4,000 for purchase of the site. The first 1,100 books were donated by the Woman’s Club who held “Book Showers” to raise money to purchase books. The building was completed in 1908 and called the Carnegie Public Library. In
the basement, Club Rooms were utilized by groups such as the Boy Scouts and Kiwanis club, chapels for religious and marriage services. During World War II, Red Cross volunteers met there to prepare bandages for wounded service personnel. Located on la Cadena Drive, just south of City Hall, it now houses the Colton Museum.

The new city logo, unveiled in 1998, combines the past and the present with a futurist adaptation and incorporation of its Carnegie Public Library Building as it stands today and did upon completion in 1908.

Today Colton encompasses approximately 18 square miles. The city is staffed by over 300 employees. It has a full range of public safety services including police, fire, and emergency medical services. Community services include library, child care, youth and family support programs and recreation for all ages. Colton also boasts the historic homes, parks, unique shops and restaurants, alongside the beautifully restored Andrew Carnegie Library Building.

Colton is the site of Colton Crossing, one of the busiest at- grade railroad crossings in the United States. The crossing was installed in August 1882 by the California Southern Railroad to cross the Southern Pacific Railroad’s tracks while building northward from San Diego.

The Colton Crossing was the site of one of the more notable frog wars in American railroad history. Prior to the crossing’s installation, the Southern Pacific Railroad held the monopoly in Southern California. In the summer of 1882, tensions reached their boiling point when the California Southern Railroad tracks reached Colton.

In an attempt to forcibly prevent the California Southern Railroad crews from completing construction, the Southern Pacific Railroad parked and then slowly moved a locomotive and gondola along the track at the location of the planned crossing. In addition, the Southern Pacific Railroad hired armed men, including the famous Virgil Earp, to guard the tracks. Before the violence could get out of hand, Governor Waterman deputized a posse from San Bernardino who rode down to enforce the state court order, and helped place the crossing, ending the Southern Pacific’s monopoly in California.

Most trains leaving or entering Southern California use this at-grade rail crossing, which is a significant cause of congestion on the main train lines. This primitive crossing has become a serious bottleneck. A proposed north-south fly- over to the south of Colton Crossing will help to reduce train crossing conflicts.