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  • Historical Timeline of our Service

    In 1858 Smiths Falls was policed by part time citizen Constables. Today the Smiths Falls Police Service staff consists of 25 uniform members, 10 full and part time civilian members, and 2 part time special constables. Our Service operates a fleet of 5 marked patrol vehicles, 3 unmarked vehicles and two special service vehicles.

    The table below is an interesting look at how we have grown and improved from our humble beginnings.

    2012 / 2011 / 2010 / 2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2002 / 2000 / 1998 / 1996 / 1995 / 1994 / 1991 / 1988 / 1984 / 1981 / 1977 / 1975 / 1970 / 1969 / 1966 / 1961 / 1956 / 1953 / 1947 / 1946 / 1944 / 1943 / 1938 / 1937 / 1936 / 1933 / 1930 / 1919 / 1915 / 1914 / 1912 / 1911 / 1910 / 1906 / 1902 / 1890 / 1888 / 1887 / 1884 / 1883 / 1882 / 1881 / 1876 / 1854 /


    2012
  • In 2012 the Smiths Falls Police Service celebrated 125 years of service to the Town of Smiths Falls. See our 125 years of service page for more information.
  • A former industrial bulding on Hershey Drive became the new home of Smiths Falls Police. The existing police station did not allow for adequate privacy to interview victims and suspects nor did it provide sufficient change rooms and showers for the female officers on the force. The new police station was designed and built to meet the needs of officers today and far into the future.
  • 2011
  • The service purchases a new Community Service police van and establishes a fulltime Community Service Officer position.
  • The new Intoxilzer 8000C is put into service with five qualified breath technicians.
  • 2010
  • Service installs video cameras into all its patrol vehicles.
  • Service acquires a vehicle dedicated as a mobile crime scene unit.
  • 2008
  • Staff Sergeant Bob Dowdall promoted to Deputy Chief of Police.
  • Number of uniform officers increased to 25.
  • 2007 New administrative offices for the police service opened in the municipal complex.
  • New position of Special Constable created to handle court security.
  • Service installs mobile computer workstations into its vehicle fleet.
  • Deputy Chief Pat Dolan retires at the end of the year after 35 years of service.
  • 2006
  • Service creates a full time Criminal Investigation Branch.
  • Service aquires the Taser X26 ECD (electronic control device) and trains two instructors.
  • Police Service staff increased to include 24 uniform officers and 9 full and part time civilian members.
  • 2002
  • 9-1-1 service is introduced to the citizens of Smiths Falls.
  • Number of uniform officers increased to 21, and then would increase by one, each of the next two years.
  • 2000
  • Bicycles are re-introduced for police patrol.
  • 1998
  • Police Service staff increased to include 20 uniform and seven civilian members.
  • 1996
  • Sergeant Pat Dolan promoted to Deputy Chief of Police.
  • 1995
  • Deputy Chief Tom Kaye leaves at the end of the year to become Deputy Chief of Police in Owen Sound.
  • 1994
  • Police service increased to 19 uniform officers.
  • 1991
  • Deputy Chief Don Blair retires after 34 years of service.
  • Tom Kaye formerly a Constable with the Cobourg Police, is appointed Deputy Chief.
  • 1990
  • Chief Stocker retires after 34 years of service.
  • Larry Hardy, formerly the Chief of Police in Exeter, is appointed Chief of the Smiths Falls Police.
  • Police Service staff increased and now consists of 17 uniform and 5 civilian members.
  • Position of Deputy Chief is reintroduced when Inspector Don Blair is promoted to the position. The rank of Deputy Chief had been discontinued in 1975.
  • Police Service hires its first female police officer. Marilyn Bird joins having previously served as a police officer in England.
  • 1988
  • Number of uniform officers increased to 16.
  • 1984
  • The new police station at the municipal complex is completed.
  • 1981
  • Number of officers in the department reduced to 15.
  • Department hires three civilian dispatchers to perform call taking and radio dispatch work. Prior to this an officer in the station performed these duties.
  • 1977
  • Department staff increased to 16 officers and one civilian.
  • 1975
  • Chief Wride retires after 37 years of service. Chief Wride had served 28 of those years as Chief of Police, and is the longest serving member in the history of the Smiths Falls Police, as well as the longest serving Chief of Police.
  • Deputy Chief Bill Stocker is promoted to Chief of Police to replace Wride.
  • 1972
  • Department increased to fifteen uniform officers.
  • 1970
  • Breathalyzer machine acquired by police department for testing impaired drivers.
  • 1969
  • Department increased to fourteen uniform officers.
  • New position of Deputy Chief is created. Sergeant Bill Stocker is promoted to Deputy Chief.
  • 1966
  • Department hires its first civilian member, a secretary for the Chief of Police.
  • 1961
  • Department staff increased to ten men. Department would increase by one each of the next three years. By 1964 the department had thirteen members.
  • Department purchases a radar unit for traffic speed enforcement.
  • 1956
  • Bill Stocker joins department as a Constable. He had previously served with the R.C.M.P.
  • Department increased to nine men during this year.
  • 1954
  • Department acquires a speed timer device for traffic speed enforcement.
  • 1953
  • Department staff increased to eight men.
  • A radio telephone is installed in the police car and for the first time the station could contact officers on patrol. Prior to this the fire bell or a flashing light at the town hall would be used to notify officers to contact the station to receive instructions.
  • 1947
  • Chief Foss resigns.
  • Sergeant Reg Wride promoted to Chief of Police.
  • 1946
  • Staff increased to seven officers working a 48 hour week.
  • 1944
  • John Lees found duties of Chief increasingly difficult due to his health. Lees resigned his position as Chief on January 1st, but remained on the staff as a Constable and was assigned specialized functions.
  • George Foss was hired as Chief of Police. Foss had been a member of the department from 1939 until 1941 when he left and joined the Brockville Police.
  • 1943
  • Department purchases its first police car. Prior to this all patrol was done on foot or on bicycle.
  • 1938
  • Reg Wride joins department as a Constable.
  • 1937
  • Department increased to four men.
  • 1936
  • Chief Bromley resigned.
  • Sergeant John Lees appointed Acting Chief of Police, and would be confirmed as Chief the following year.
  • Smiths Falls Police Commission formed this year. The commission consisted of the County Court Judge, the Town Magistrate and the Mayor.
  • 1933
  • Chief Phillips resigned. Chief Phillips had served 21 years, almost all as Chief.
  • Graham Bromley is hired as Chief of Police. Chief Bromley had previously been the Chief of Police in Campbellford and Elmira.
  • Department staff increased to four men during this year, but would be reduced to three in early 1934 as a cost cutting measure.
  • 1930
  • Department staff increased to three men.
  • 1919
  • John Lees joins department and would be promoted to the rank of Sergeant later that same year.
  • 1915
  • Chief Mitchell resigns.
  • George Phillips reappointed Chief Constable by town council.
  • Department reduced to two men at this time.
  • 1914
  • George Mitchell, a former Chief Constable in North Bay, is appointed Chief in Smiths Falls, after a reorganization of the police department. George Phillips was reassigned to the rank of Sergeant.
  • Department now had three men.
  • 1912
  • eorge Phillips is hired as Constable and is appointed Chief Constable only months after joining department, when Chief Sweet resigns.
  • 1911
  • William H. Sweet is appointed Chief Constable effective January 1st.
  • 1910
  • A second officer is hired marking the last time the Smiths Falls Police would operate as a one man department.
  • In April, a Main St. man is arrested by Chief Edwards and charged with strangling his wife to death. The man is later convicted at trial and is executed in December at the Perth Jail. He was the only man ever executed for a capital crime committed in Smiths Falls, and was the last man executed in Lanark County.
  • 1906
  • Chief Sweet resigns and Charles Edwards is appointed Chief Constable.
  • 1902
  • Miner Sweet is appointed as Chief Constable. Chief Sweet had been a Constable with the Brockville Police prior to coming to Smiths Falls.
  • 1890
  • Alexander Vernon of Dundas is hired as Chief Constable. Chief Vernon was a veteran of the British Army and had served in Crimea and Afghanistan. Chief Vernon would resign after only three months and Robert McGowan would be returned as Chief by a vote of town council.
  • 1888
  • Robert McGowan appointed Chief Constable. Chief McGowan had previous police experience with the Royal Irish Constabulary and had also been a Detective for the Province of Ontario.
  • 1887
  • Jasper Vrooman appointed Chief Constable. It is believed that Chief Vrooman was the first town police officer to perform his duties in uniform.
  • 1884
  • Robert Reynolds is appointed Chief Constable.
  • 1883
  • The Village of Smiths Falls is incorporated as a Town.
  • James Gilroy appointed Chief Constable.
  • 1882
  • William McGillivray appointed Chief Constable.
  • 1881
  • The village council opted to create a full time salaried position, and define the duties in a by-law. This marks the beginning of a municipal police service in Smiths Falls.
  • On February 9, 1881 John B. Drew is appointed Chief Constable, and as such is the first municipal police officer for Smiths Falls. The new Chief continued to be assisted by the part time constables as needed.
  • 1876
  • There was an attempt to create a full time position for a Chief Constable. However, the village council reversed its decision shortly after.
  • 1854
  • Smiths Falls incorporated as a village. The village council appointed Constables. These were citizens who discharged their duties on a part time, as needed basis. They were paid fees for various duties performed.



  • Sources: Smiths Falls Record-News articles, Town of Smiths Falls Council minutes of meetings, Smiths Falls Police Commission / Smiths Falls Police Services Board minutes of meetings.
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