History of the Brockville Police Service
This Police Service was formed in 1832, when the hamlet was created as a Police Village under a Board of Police. In that year, James Kennedy was appointed High Bailiff, and William Smith was the first Constable to be hired.
It is said that one of Smith’s first court cases involved several young gentlemen who were accused of driving their horses at a fast pace along the main street. The case was dismissed, and so was Smith.
In the next forty years, there were few changes in the composition of the Police Service except those caused by death. The position of High Constable or Bailiff was held by several men, among whom were John McKenna, Michael Hunter and Thomas Mowat.
In 1876, town Council secured the services of Henry Mitchell of St. Catharine’s as the first Chief of Police. He directed the organization of the Force, which consisted of a Sergeant and five Constables.
Chief Mitchell resigned in 1890 and was followed by Charles Rose, a native of Dundas, Ontario, who was succeeded in 1899 by Chief Samuel Adams. In 1905 William Burke was appointed Chief of Police and held this post until 1926. Records show that during this period the names of some of the police officers were Botham, Burns, Davison, Glazier, Simpson, Storey, Thompson and Foster.
In 1927, John Brown was appointed Chief, and remained in that position until 1938 when he resigned and was replaced by Wilmot F. Young, who held the post until his retirement in 1968. He was succeeded by N.L. Sterritt, who retired in June, 1984. On his retirement, the Police Commission appointed W.M.G. Curtis as Chief of Police. Upon the retirement of Chief Curtis in 1990, R.J. McFadden became the next Chief of Police until his retirement in 1995.
The Police Service has expanded steadily with the growth of the Town, which obtained City status in 1962, and to meet increased demands for service. In 1929 there was a Chief, a Sergeant and three Constables. In 1938 there was a Chief, a Sergeant and five Constables. During this era, familiar names on the force were Young, Forsyth, Hare, Kirby, Grant and Runciman.
In 1945 there was a Chief, three Sergeants, six Constables and a Clerk. In 1947 with the advent of the 8-hour day, 48-hour work week for the Brockville Police, the ranks of the Police Service swelled to fifteen. Now, the Brockville Police respond to thousands of calls for service per year. Technology and complex investigations require time and training. As the largest department in the City of Brockville, the Police Service is currently staffed with 59 members. This represents both civilian and sworn and covers our facility on Parkedale Avenue, the Courthouse and Case Management.
Chief Barry V. King was appointed Chief of Police in October 1995 and remained until 2007 when he retired. John Manoll was appointed Chief and retired in 2009. In January, 2009, Adrian Geraghty, who had been a long serving member of the Brockville Police Service was appointed as Chief and remained until 2011. John Gardiner replaced Chief Geraghty in 2011 and Scott Fraser was appointed as Acting Chief in 2013, ultimately being named Chief in 2014.
The Brockville Police Service is a progressive, community oriented Police Service, which owes a great deal of its success to the guidance of our Police Services Board, the cooperation of the citizens of our City, the support of City Council and staff as well as the dedication of our officers and civilian employees.
Members of the Brockville Police Service have devoted much of their time to the youth of the community, which reflects favourably in the effective police-public relations that we now enjoy and the co-operative partnerships we are involved in, focused to enhance public safety and make Brockville the safest and healthiest community in which to live, learn, work and play.
The Brockville Police Service remains as the oldest police service in Ontario.