18 October 2011

175 Years of Policing in Belleville

Uniforms from around 1900
To an audience of over seventy members, guests and visitors, John Lowry (assisted by Staff-Sgt. Tony MacKinnon) gave an overview of the history of policing in Belleville and the work that is now being undertaken to preserve that history for future generations

He recounted how Belleville’s police service was officially established in 1836 with the appointment of Henry Avrill as high constable and Hiram Fulford as bailiff. The village had at that time a population of about one thousand souls and encompassed an area of just over six hundred acres at the mouth of the Moira River.
Its early beginnings make Belleville's police force one of the oldest police services in Canada, pre-dating the Kingston Police (founded 1843), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (founded in 1873) and the Ontario Provincial Police (1909).

Belleville moved from village status to that of a town in 1850 and to a city in 1878. By this time the city Police Department had expanded to six members headed by Hugh McKinnon. The population had grown to nearly ten thousand people living in an area covering 1,760 acres.

A little over a half century later during World War II the force consisted of ten members. In 2010 there were 132 members of the police force.

A more complete history of the Police force can be read in the November issue of the Society's newsletter Outlook

A copy of that edition can be viewed by clicking this link.  

The link will open in a new window.

John Lowry and Staff-Sgt. Tony MacKinnon display equipment once used by Belleville's Police Force
Pictures Nick White, story based on Outlook article


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