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Ode to the days of Brea Police Posse

2 years ago by in ( BBON , City Guide , News , Old/New , Uncategorized , Welcome to Brea , What's New! )
Giddy up! Born in the Old West, let's take a trot down Brea Pd's memory lane!
Shown collectible and rare, Brea police posse badges.  Courtesy of  Brea PD historian, Officer Celmer

Shown are Brea police posse badges, collectible and rare. Courtesy of Brea PD historian, Officer Celmer


    Founded in 1956 with eight members, the City of Brea had a police posse comprised of academy volunteers. The members were deputized if necessary, 21 years or older, possessed a horse and a trailer, and were either residents of Brea or neighboring cities.

      These men were dedicated to serve undergoing a rigid screening process by the governing board, after receiving approval from the police department.

        img_1612 They possessed the utmost horsemanship and marksmanship skills, purchasing their own uniforms and gear to get the job done. The members were skilled in first aid and required to respond 24/7 if needed.

          Separately charted and self-governed, the group worked closely with the Brea PD in coordinating functions such as search and rescue and assisting with traffic problems. They partook in monthly meetings and three shoots a year. Among other activities, they participated in the City of Brea 4th of July parades. And held social ride get-togethers once a month.

            But it wasn't always pleasant as these posse riders were ready for alarming situations such as in 1968, when Officer Nelson Sasscer, a Santa Ana police officer was killed while stopping a motorist. Posse members were summoned to assist in searching the canyons for the suspect’s car, which went out of control when the driver abruptly exited while being chased by Brea Police Officer, Jim Smith.

              According to Brea PD Officer Jason Celmer, police historian, the Posse ceased being an active element at the PD in the late 70’s/early 80’s.

                Three photos of Police Posse member, Shannon Barnes, were sent to Officer Celmer from Shannon’s daughter-in-law Cecelia along with the News Tribune article titled, “Police Posse Seeks Members.” Courtesy of Brea PD historian, Officer Celmer

                Three photos of Police Posse member, Shannon Barnes, were sent to Officer Celmer from Shannon’s daughter-in-law Cecelia along with the News Tribune article titled, “Police Posse Seeks Members.” Courtesy of Brea PD historian, Officer Celmer


                  Celmer is reaching out and asking anyone who has any items related to the history of Brea PD in their possession, and would like to donate them, to please contact him via email at JasonC@ci.brea.ca.us. Celmer notes: of particular interest related to this article would be the Badge, and the Brea PD horse blanket that is just barely visible beneath Shannon’s saddle in the close up photo.

                    Taylor, Dave "Police Posse Seeks Members" News Tribune September 1972
Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded freelance consultant. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting and promoting the city of Brea and its historic iconic Charlie's Clock turned "Charlie the Clock cartoon character!" Click on the front page illustration to read about the beloved time traveling talking clock!!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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