In August 2009, the National Zoo's police force celebrated its 120th year of dedication and service to all who visit, work, and live at the Zoo. The Police Department began as one of the original five law enforcement agencies in Washington, D.C., in 1889, with only two watchmen tasked to patrol the entire 163-acre facility. Over the past 12 decades, it has developed and expanded to become a substantially larger Federal Law Enforcement agency.
The Zoo's hard-working and professional group of men and women patrol both the Rock Creek facility in Northwest Washington, D.C. and the 3,200-acre Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Virginia. They encounter more than 3.5 million people visiting the Zoo throughout the year, many of whom are local residents, members of Congress, heads of state, and foreign dignitaries. As the needs of the Zoo community change, the National Zoological Park Police will dutifully offer its assistance and services—for the next 120 years and beyond.