The Delaware State Police was founded on April 28, 1923. The initial four stations were located in Wilmington, New Castle, Dover, and Georgetown. A fifth station was added in 1925 to patrol the western side of Sussex County. In May 1957, Delaware State Police began providing seasonal coverage to the east side of Sussex County with the opening of Troop 4A. The summer home for troopers was a small brick building on Delaware 1 located in the “forgotten mile,” the stretch between Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach. This coverage continued every summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day until the fall of 1970, when troopers found a permanent year-round assignment at the newly established Troop 7.
Despite the year-round staffing, additional troopers from throughout the state were reassigned to Troop 7 during the summer months and then returned to their permanent duty stations as the complaint load declined in September. Retired Captain Michael Cunningham recalls thirty troopers from various locations being reassigned during the summer of 1970 to assist with unrest occurring in Rehoboth Beach.
Troop 7 is historically known for its service to the Nation’s Summer Capital, but the women and men who serve there traverse an expansive 247 square miles that runs north to Kent County and westward, where it meets the Troop 4 boundary. By 1983, it was necessary to expand the patrol contingency to serve the growing population, prompting the move of patrol operations from Dewey to State Route 1 in Lewes. In 1985, the growing fatal accident investigation and reconstruction team for Sussex County became part of Troop 7. The FAIR team, now known as the Collision Reconstruction Unit, is responsible for investigating all crashes in Sussex County and provides support to local municipalities upon request.
As the population continued to grow on the east side of Sussex County, it was with great pride Delaware State Police welcomed motors back to their fleet under the command of Captain Gregory Nolt. In 2004, the addition of four motorcycles to the fleet allowed for quicker response time to traffic crashes and medical emergencies along State Route 1. The Motorcycle Unit also participates in dignitary transfers. The tradition of providing dignitary transfers is not only a practical function but also adds a ceremonial and symbolic aspect to the role of the Delaware State Police.
In late 2019, Delaware State Police Troop 7 moved to its current location in a state-of-the-art facility located on Mulberry Knoll Road in Lewes. Although Troop 7 was the last of the three troops established in Sussex County, it is rich in history and continues to serve both Delawareans and visitors from around the world.
“Many generations have walked the ever-changing halls of Troop 7,” said Captain Mary McGuire, Commander of Troop 7. “Each and every trooper is a beacon of honor, integrity, and courage. They uphold the highest ideals and have forged a legacy of trust that binds them as guardians to the citizens they proudly serve. Serving alongside the members of Troop 7 for the last three years has been a source of great pride, as their commitment to these values forms a resilient foundation, creating a profound sense of camaraderie and shared purpose.”
Share this Post