Moose Jaw Police Service

Moose Jaw Police Service, ca. 1930.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A7538

Moose Jaw hired its first police constable shortly after the town’s incorporation, in 1884. In the early days, the position combined the duties of town constable with those of license inspector, and in 1899, the constable also served as the chief of the volunteer fire brigade. The rapid growth of Moose Jaw in the early years of the 20th century changed policing, however, as it did in all the urban centres of western Canada, and in 1905 Chief Johnson was hired to meet these new challenges: he both expanded and reorganized the police department.

The first motorized vehicle was purchased in 1911 and a second police vehicle was purchased in 1920. During the 1950s, police cars were equipped with two-way radios and in the early 1960s, a Traffic Unit was established complete with a “state of the art” radar system. In the late 1970s, a Crime Prevention Unit was established to be more community-friendly and proactive in recognition of newly embraced contemporary policing methods, and the first female officer was hired in 1981. The intent of these changes was to have the community take greater ownership of its problems. The 1998 community survey conducted by the current chief of police, Terry Coleman, clearly indicated the residents of Moose Jaw needed a closer relationship with the police service. This endorsed the concept of “community policing,” which is now the strategy for conducting business. The Police Service presently has fifty-two police officers and twenty FTE support staff.

Terence Coleman