Steelton was originally known as Baldwin (named for Matthew Baldwin, Founder of Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia). When a post office was needed, it became necessary to change the name of the town because several towns were already established in Pennsylvania named Baldwin. In 1871, it was decided to change the town's name to STEEL WORKS, however, confusion arose mistaking the post office for the the steel plant. In 1880, the town was incorporated as Steelton.
The Steelton Borough Police Department was established around 1894.
In May of 1968 Frederick (Fred) Douglas was appointed as the Chief of Police of the Steelton Borough Police Department, he was the first African-American to be appointed as a Chief of Police in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He served as the Steelton Borough Chief of Police from 1968 to 1975 when he retired do to a disability. Mr. Douglas passed away in March of 2006.
The Steelton Borough Police shoulder patch, which is worn on each sleeve of an officer's shirt or jacket has been in use since sometime in the 1960's. The patch is representative of the steel industry. The three hypocycloids symbolize the materials necessary to produce steel (yellow for coal, red/orange for ore and blue for steel scrap).
The present Police Department is comprised of the Chief of Police, ten full-time officers, two part-time officers, and an Administrative Assistant.