Department History

A historic photo of the policePrior to the Orleans Police Department being organized in 1946, the chairman of the Board Of Selectman was the acting Chief of Police with many "special" police officers.

The Department's first Chief was Clarence L. Vanasse, who was appointed in May 1946. Chief Vanasse resigned in 1948, and the Department's first patrolman, Joseph W. Higgins, was then appointed Chief in August 1948.

Since then there have been 6 chiefs appointed: Chief Anstess in 1950; Chief "Chet" Landers in 1954, where he would serve for 29 years; Chief Walsh in 1983; Chief Stone in 1988; and Chief Roy 2003.

Today, The Department is led by Chief Scott MacDonald. The Department also has 1 Deputy Chief, 1 Lieutenant, 5 Sergeants, 1 Detective, 13 Patrol Officers, 4 Dispatchers, and 2 Administrative Assistants.


An old police carIn 1954 the Police Department moved from a small corner in the former Town Hall, into a new addition in the Fire Station that was located on Main Street in the center of town.

In 1967 the Orleans Police and Fire Departments moved into a then newly constructed building at the corner of Route 28 and Eldredge Parkway.

In 1989 the Fire Deptartment moved into its own facility on Eldredge Parkway and the Police Department took over the "old" building after extensive renovations were completed.

In late 2016 work started on a new Police Facility located in the same location at the corner of Eldredge Parkway and Route 28. During that time, operations continued with minimal obstacles until the new station was completed in early 2018.

See the Department's Organizational Chart (PDF).