For hundreds of years, the rolling hills and grasslands of South Placer County were home to the Maidu Indians. In 1849, pioneers discovered gold in the foothills and an influx of prospectors, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, laborers, and farmers began settling the surrounding lands. The face of Placer County would never be the same.

In 1864, a track-laying crew from the Central Pacific Railroad came eastward across the plains from Sacramento, building the western half of the nation's first transcontinental railroad. They crossed a small rail line that linked the young towns of Lincoln and Folsom, and gave the spot the unimaginative name of Junction.

For the next forty years, Junction evolved into Roseville, a small trading center for area farmers. It was greatly overshadowed in those days by its neighbor to the north, Rocklin, where the Southern Pacific Railroad maintained its Roundhouse facilities. In 1906, with the goal of expansion, Southern Pacific moved its facilities to Roseville, opening the door for Roseville to one day host the largest railroad switching yards west of the Mississippi.

The City of Roseville incorporated in 1909, built sewer lines, and organized its fire department. During the three-year period between 1911 and 1914, the citizens of Roseville erected more than one-hundred structures. In 1913, the largest ice manufacturing plant in the world was constructed in Roseville to chill fruits and vegetables being shipped from California to other parts of the country. In 1914, the Roseville Telephone Company was formed. Now known as SureWest, the former Roseville Telephone is today a large telecommunications corporation.

By 1929, the railroad employed nearly 1,500 people in its Roseville yard, assembling trains, repairing engines, and handling freight. Then came the Great Depression. It hit Placer County as hard as the rest of the country, but more than 2,000 of Roseville's unemployed found jobs in the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) paving streets, pouring sidewalks, and building storm drains. Many sidewalks in the older sections of Roseville still have "WPA" embossed in the concrete.

After the Depression years, the rail yards flourished, especially with the onset of World War II, and the subsequent post-war building boom. Prosperity returned to Roseville, seen in the form of upgrades to the city-owned electric system and construction of a new city hospital. The years 1948-1950 saw the construction of the Washington Street underpass to accommodate traffic flow under Vernon Street and the Southern Pacific tracks.

The pattern of life changed during the 50's, as the railroad found stiff competition from airlines and interstate truckers in providing delivery of goods and services. Late in the decade, Interstate 80 pushed through Roseville, Rocklin, Loomis, and Auburn, linking Placer County with the rest of Northern California. Folsom Dam was completed in 1955, creating a reservoir eight miles east of Roseville that provides the city with dependable domestic water supply as well as an excellent recreational amenity.

By 1964, the 100-year-old city was peaceful, self-contained, and embodied the ideas of a small American town. The publishers of Look Magazine recognized that fact when they named Roseville an All American City that year.

Today, Roseville finds itself a progressive city with a population of over 100,000 people. Numerous acres of former farmland have been annexed and placed within Roseville's sphere of influence, potentially doubling the current population in ten to fifteen years. While boasting the largest city population in all of Placer County, retail, industry, and technology jobs have made Roseville less of a bedroom community and more of a destination for commuters who come for work, entertainment, and shopping, creating a significant increase in daytime population.

The dynamic face of our community has a historical perspective, from its roots as a railroad junction, to today's self-contained metropolis. The challenge for public safety has always been and continues to be to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.

The current police facility, constructed in 1997, boasts approximately 70,000 square feet. However, the tremendous growth of our community demands ever-increasing service, requiring more personnel and places to house them. 2005 brings extensive remodeling and enhancement of systems and processes to the Roseville Police Department. With its goal of remaining a progressive department with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, the challenge will be keeping pace with the growth of our community and proactively working toward its betterment.