The Somerset Police Department can trace its beginnings back to July 11, 1683, when the governor of Plymouth Colony approved the appointment of our first law enforcement officer. His name was Zachariah Eddy and he was named to the post of constable. In the settlement of Shawomet, Zachariah Eddy was second only to the selectmen in terms of importance and influence. It was Zachariah's responsibility to "lawfully warn" town meetings, levy fines, collect taxes, supervise the road
Today's Somerset was called Shawomet during the 17th century, and Shawomet was somewhat unusual among early New England towns because it did not develop from a planned center that encircled a village green. Shawomet's orientation was toward its rivers and the bay, and the earliest neighborhoods grew up around commercial shipyards. Shawomet's very first business venture was a reflection of the town's formative relationship with the Taunton River. The business was called Slade'
The first map of today's Town of Somerset dates back to the 17th century. It is a surveyor's plan of the Shawomet Purchase, and it shows the property lines, as they were in 1683, of individual parcels of land. It also supplies the name of the person who owned each parcel. As soon as Shawomet had been surveyed and the roads had been laid out, these property owners were required by law to mark the boundaries of their holdings. They were also directed to enclose any part of thei