In historical terms, the Niagara Regional Police Service is still considered to be quite young. The Service, itself only came into being in 1971, some 30 short years ago.
The proud tradition of policing in Niagara, however, dates back to 1850’s when the first police forces were formed and the Mayors and Councils were responsible for “keeping the peace”.
In 1856, the first full time police officers were hired for St. Catharines and when it became a city, in 1876, the police force consisted of a grand total of 13 men! The Niagara Falls police force, which was organized in 1919, actually had their own police car, something that was not seen in St. Catharines until 1924.
From the early 1920’s up until 1970, there were separate and unique municipal police forces throughout the Niagara region. Each one with a proud history and many stories to tell.
With the advent of regional government, the Niagara Regional Board of Commissioners was established in January, 1970 and incorporated the former municipal police forces into a new Regional Force. At that time, the Niagara Regional Police Force was one of the ten largest in Ontario.
In October of 1977, the force took over the policing of the entire Niagara Region, protecting a number of municipalities that had been provided protection by the Ontario Provincial Police. In the early 1980’s the name was officially changed to the Niagara Regional Police Service.
The Niagara Regional Police Service now protects an area that encompasses 1,863 square kilometers and a total of twelve municipalities. There are six districts and numerous units spread throughout the Region.
The approximate 1,000 plus members of the Niagara Region Police Association are proud to serve and protect over 427,000 residents and the approximately 16,000,000 annual visitors to the region.