When Napa was incorporated in 1872, there were only ten miles of city streets within its boundaries. These ten miles (since swollen to 165 miles) became the birthplace of the Napa Police Department.
The city’s first law enforcement officer was Ebenezer Biggs, the Town Marshal. The Marshal's duties were both criminal and civil in nature; in addition to arresting law breakers, he was also called on to supervise street repairs, collect taxes, assess taxes, impound stray animals, issue dog tags, serve civil papers, and so forth.
The original Napa Police Department was founded in 1875. It consisted of the city's first Chief of Police, Jerome B. Walden; Marshal Thomas Earl; patrolmen E.S. Gridley, William Border, Charles M. Laughlin, and night watchmen Martin Guhn and George Hart.