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Prince Albert Police Service

Prince Albert Police Service, ca. 1920s.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-D1260

The Prince Albert Police Force has its origins dating from 1885, when William Dilworth was hired as the first constable. His appointment came after a town meeting agreed to hire police protection for the growing community. Due to the law enforcement jurisdiction of the North-West Mounted Police, Constable Dilworth was appointed with limited powers, which included general maintenance issues such as handling complaints of roaming wild dogs. The first chief of police, Robert J. Jones, was appointed in 1900. This hiring signified the shift away from limited police powers towards an independent and structured law enforcement agency.

The Saskatchewan Provincial Police assisted Prince Albert’s six-officer police force in 1918 as the need for increased law and order grew. In the 1920s, as the community of Prince Albert was faced with a declining population and increasing financial concerns, the Provincial Police, and later the RCMP, temporarily managed policing functions. Despite this interruption, by 1929 the city’s police force had been reorganized and it resumed its development into a comprehensive law enforcement agency.

Highlights of the evolution of the force include the creation of a full-time Detective Branch (1956), the opening of the Identification Branch (1958), the formation of the Traffic Division (1970), the establishment of the Mobile Crisis Unit (1976), the purchase of the first police dogs (1976), and the hiring of the force’s first female officer, Marilyn Lewis (1977). As of 2004, seventy-two police officers and twenty-eight civilians served the community of Prince Albert in areas such as crime, narcotics, traffic offences, domestic disturbances, and public safety.

Erin Legg

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Further Reading

Frith, Joan. 1986. Prince Albert Police: 100 Years 1886–1986. North Battleford: Turner-Warwick Printers.
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