Hamilton Police Service
|Hamilton Police Service|
|Official coat of arms granted by Canadian Heraldic Authority|
|Logo of Hamilton Police Service|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
The Hamilton Police Service provides policing services to 520,000 residents. In 2012, they responded to approximately 80,000 calls-for- service. The proposed operating budget for 2015 is just over $148 million.
The Town of Hamilton was established on February 13, 1833 by a statute of Upper Canada. It was one of the first Canadian communities to adopt the concepts of Sir Robert Peel. The first Board of Police elections were held on March 4th, 1833. Thomas Taylor was the first President of the Board with elected members; Colin. C. Ferrie, Ebenezer Stinson, Joseph Rolston and Peter. Hamilton. Their first meeting took place at the Hamilton Court House on Monday, March 11th, 1833. The first order of business was to consider a location for a town market place. By-laws were set forth for the regulation of the town and a number of town officials were appointed. the direction of the Board of Police, High Bailiff John Ryckman was appointed to keep the peace, thus establishing him as Hamilton's first Police Officer. In 1846 the town of Hamilton received its Charter. In 1848 Dundas created its own police agency. In 1850, the Police Village of Ancaster followed suit to complete the trio of area pre-Confederation police departments. In August 1940, the Township of Saltfleet established a Constabulary to patrol its increasingly urban territory, and in 1949, in the wake of the post-war boom, Stoney Creek followed suit. On January 1, 1974, these police forces were merged into one Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Force under its own Board of Commissioners of Police. Policing was no longer a ‘department’ of City Hall. On February 22, 1986, the Hamilton Harbour Police, under the jurisdiction of the Hamilton Harbour Commission, was disbanded and its function taken over by the Hamilton Wentworth Regional Police Force. January 1, 2001, the communities of Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Stoney Creek and Hamilton merged to become the ‘new’ City of Hamilton. At the same time, the Hamilton Wentworth Regional Police merged to become one Hamilton Police Service.
Coat of Arms, Flag & Logo
Hamilton Police Service Coat of Arms
The Hamilton Police Service Official Coat of Arms and Colours, standards and guidons were granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority (created by Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II on the recommendation of His Excellency the Governor General of Canada) November 15, 2007. The Coat of Arms is a version of the national coat of arms for municipal Police Services. It may be granted to any municipal Police Service which is part of a municipal corporation that possesses a coat of arms by lawful grant from the Crown. All such ‘badges’ share a frame of gold maple leaves rising up from a representation of the provincial flower from the province in which the service is sited, all ensigned by the Royal Crown - St. Edward’s Crown.
On a hurt a maple leaf Gules fimbriated Or, all within a wreath of maple leaves Or issuant from a trillium flower proper between two cinquefoils Gules, the whole ensigned by the Royal Crown proper and in base a ribbon Sable edged Or inscribed HAMILTON POLICE SERVICE in letters Argent;
Symbolism: There are many symbolic meanings to various parts of the Hamilton Police Service Coat of Arms. The exterior frame of maple leaves, the trillium, and St. Edward’s Crown follows the traditional style of police coat of arms for a municipal police service in Canada. The Police Service has the responsibility of upholding the peace and the administration of justice under the Canadian Crown. The Royal Crown, at the top of the coat of armst, symbolizes the administration of Crown’s justice, while the laurel of maple leaves and trillium refer to Canada and Ontario respectively. The blue field represents the harbour of the City of Hamilton and the gold edges represent the City’s industry and wealth. The Red Maple Leaf represents Canada. The two cinquefoils allude to the arms of the City of Hamilton in which such a cinquefoil also appears. The cinquefoil is taken from the arms of the Chief of Clan Hamilton, and it thus refers to the City's namesake. The Coat of Arms is included in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada. For further information on the coat of arms of the Hamilton Police Service, go to the website of the Governor General of Canada:
Hamilton Police Service Flag (Colours, standards and guidons)
Per bend sinister Azure and Gules a bend sinister Or overall the Badge; The symbolism of this emblem is found in other element(s) of this record
Consecration and Trooping of the Colours: It was on May 12, 2008 that a special event was planned to unveil the Hamilton Police Service Grant of Arms and the Consecration and Trooping the Colour, the Service’s first-ever Police Colour. The Grant of Arms, more commonly known as a Coat of Arms incorporates symbolism reflecting the years of history and heritage of the Hamilton Police Service. A ‘Colour’ is the ceremonial flag, with a specific registered design, awarded to the Hamilton Police Service by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. In Canada this is done through the Governor General of Canada and the Canadian Heraldic Authority. The design incorporates very specific symbolic features. To consecrate a flag is to ceremonially dedicate it to the service of the men and women, officers and civilians, of the Hamilton Police Service. The consecration making the flag a visible symbol of the years which have passed since the Service was created, and emblematic of the years to come. It is meant to serve as an inspiration for the future, and is a silent challenge to the future members to meet and exceed the achievements of those who have come before them. In a ceremony steeped in protocol and pageantry, the colour was consecrated by a drumhead service.
Hamilton Police Service Logo
The Police Service Logo, similar to our Heraldic Crest, was developed by a Police committee when the Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police became the Hamilton Police Service. It is the logo that appears on our marked Patrol Vehicles, signage, letterhead, etc.
The blue oval at the top of the red maple leaf represents the Hamilton Harbour that gave birth to this industrious city, the six veins of the red maple leaf represent the 6 former municipalities, the veins of the leaf extending into the blue oval illustrate inclusiveness of our diverse community, the gold trim around the maple leaf represents the wealth of our industry, natural resources, business and community partnerships, the two blue waves at the bottom of the leaf represent our vision to be the best and most progressive police service.
Units of the Hamilton Police Service
The first known record of dogs being used in policing the Hamilton community was in 1878, when an old stray dog the officers named “Bob” was taken in and routinely brought on night patrol to accompany and officer named Police Constable Ferris on his beat. Bob was not trained for special tasks, but often acted as a deterrent to those who had the potential to create trouble.
It wasn’t until 1960 that the Hamilton Police Department acquired two dogs with the intent of training them for special circumstances. Hamilton Police had the second municipal Canine Unit in Canada. Their names were Sandy and King. The dogs were used for many functions which made the officers’ jobs safer and easier. Due to their keen senses, dogs were trained to track suspects or missing persons, search buildings, and to locate weapons and bombs. They were also trained to disarm criminals threatening the life of an officer. The dogs used as Police Dogs were for the most part German Shepherds. They are used because of their fierce loyalty, relatively even temperament, imposing physical presence and easy trainability.
The dogs train with a constable who is responsible for the dog both on and off the job. They live with the officer’s family which allows a constant relationship between the dog and its handler to develop. Much of the time, the dogs are in training to maintain the skills they have acquired. Today the Hamilton Police deploys four PSD's (Police Service Dog). Each dog is trained in human scent detection and tracking. Police K-9's are also used for drug detection, firearms and currency. Hamilton Police also deploys a PSD for explosives detection. Hamilton has had one K-9 killed in the line of duty - PSD TROY killed February 25, 1992 (shot by a suspect during an apprehension). See also Detection dog.
Emergency Response Unit
During the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, a terrorist attack was carried out against eleven Israeli Olympic team and delegation members who were killed along with a German Police Officer. The attack became known as the Munich Massacre. This attack prompted Police Agencies around the world to examine their capabilities in addressing such an attack of terrorism. As a result of international incidents of hostage takings like the one in Munich, plus other firearms related incidents here in Canada and abroad, Chief Gordon Torrance had been planning to form a special unit to deal with high risk situations. The 1976 Summer Olympics were to be held in Montreal, Quebec. From June 23 – July 3, 1976, Hamilton was to be the Host of the Pre-Olympics Basketball Tournament. Thirteen Countries would be represented at that tournament, including Israel. The Munich Massacre was still fresh on the minds of those planning security for this event.
In September 1975, the Chief issued a Policy and Procedure to deal with Armed and Barricaded Persons. On Monday, November 3, 1975, Paul Lariviere (32 years) of Champlain St., Hamilton, exchanged gunfire with Hamilton Police from his residence. An officer who had a revolver eventually killed him. Lariviere was found to have 2 rifles in his apartment. This incident was a catalyst for the Hamilton Police Service to form a specialized unit. On November 8, 1975, a decision was made by Chief Torrance to form a tactical unit that would begin training in January of 1976. The Unit was to be based on the concept of the NYPD SWAT. The Unit was known as “T.E.A.M.” which stood for ‘Tactical Emergency Assault Men’.
The mandate of T.E.A.M. was to attain a peaceful ending to police calls involving hostage-taking, gun and other weapon-related incidents. Five TEAM officers were initially sent to the ‘Anti-Sniper and Survival School’ at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. They also took on the responsibility of Explosives Disposal (EDU) and received this training through the RCMP. The fifteen-man Unit became officially operational on June 13, 1976. When the first female officer became a member of the unit, the name was changed to Emergency Response Unit (E.R.U.). ERU members are trained to handle a variety of weapons, deal with dangerous, high-risk situations, and are utilized when entering a premises for the execution of search warrants.
The ACTION Team is made possible through funding obtained from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services under the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (PAVIS). PAVIS aims to reduce illegal gang, drug and weapons activities in communities by focusing on intervention, prevention, enforcement and community mobilization.
The ACTION Teams consist of teams of officers who are deployed on foot and bicycle patrol. The officers are deployed based on an ongoing analysis of locations, crime trends, and offenders which will ensure that the ACTION Teams are in the right areas at the right times.
Hot spot analysis was used to assist in deployment strategies. Hotspot analysis is a statistical technique used to identify incidents that are concentrated within geographical areas over time. Identifying crime hotspots and analyzing both neighbourhood and crime characteristics within these areas are critical pieces of information for fighting crimes.
Mounted Patrol Unit
The Mounted Patrol Unit (MPU) was formed in September 2009 and consists of five horses and six officers. The priorities of the Mounted Patrol Unit are to heighten the Service’s ability to accomplish:
MPU offers coverage throughout the city of Hamilton with rotating Day, Afternoon and Night Shifts.
The Marine Unit’s history dates back to its origin as the Hamilton Harbour Police in 1921. It had a division called the Rescue and Patrol Unit which was responsible for all on-the-water activities. A Shore Patrol was created in 1938 to deal with on-shore situations. Both units together would be responsible to patrol the entire Hamilton Harbour area of Lake Ontario. The two units were amalgamated in 1969 and remained that way until 1986, when the Hamilton Harbour Commission disbanded the Harbour Police. After that, the responsibility for policing the harbour became the responsibility of the Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Service. The boundaries of responsibility increased in 1996 when the Halton Regional Police Service joined forces with the Hamilton Wentworth Regional Police Marine Unit in order to provide a more complete service. This agreement ended in April of 2008 when Halton moved their Marine operations to Bronte Harbour.
The Hamilton Police Service Marine Unit operate a four man full-time marine and carry four "spare" officers for vacation coverage and emergencies. they patrol Hamilton Harbour and the western end of Lake Ontario. Hamilton Harbour is the largest Canadian port on the Great Lakes. The Marine Unit actively patrols from mid April until mid November. In the off season they perform ice rescue and traffic enforcement.
The unit operates a 32' aluminum patrol boat built by Hike Metal Products. It also has the use of a Zodiac Hurricane 853 (Rigid-hulled inflatable boat) the Royal Canadian Mounted Police keep stationed in Hamilton. It is equipped with twin supercharged 300 hp Mercury Verado motors. the RCMP often teams up and operates with the unit. The unit gained fame in April 2011 when they rescued a group of highschool rowers who were caught in a freak storm. The members received the Canadian Safe Boating Counsel "Rescue of the Year" award. The first time this award was given to a professional organization.
Auxiliary Police Unit
The Auxiliary Police were established in the early 1960s as a response to societal changes. Civil unrest throughout the world had the Police Service question its ability to deal with large-scale chaos. The principal goal was to create an auxiliary force made up of volunteer, unpaid officers who could be called upon to assist the regular Force if problems were ever to arise. The Auxiliary Police were (and still are) required to go through various training seminars, as well as maintain a high degree of physical fitness. Although in uniform, they function under very strict guidelines and do not substitute for regular officers. Instead, they assist in the processes when constables required a large, organized support.
Presently, the Auxiliary Police can be seen working at parades or during long weekends, at rallies, or large events where police presence is required on a larger scale than usual. They are identified with a shoulder flash that says 'Auxiliary'. They also wear a traditional light-blue shirt whereas sworn officers wear navy blue uniforms.
Police cars, also known as police cruisers are the most common vehicle used by the Hamilton Police Service. The vehicles are numbered in regards to their division and car number. For example, 710-1 represents that the vehicle is from Division 1 (Central), and the preceding 710 is the vehicle designation number. Vehicles assigned to uniformed Patrol begin with a 7 for a car and a 6 for a Sport utility vehicle. Specialty Units such as ERU and Canine begin with a 9.
Marine Unit Vessels
In the 1990s, the majority of law enforcement agencies of Canada began wearing bulletproof vests and municipal police agencies started carrying semi-automatic handguns in the .40 S&W calibre cartridge. The Hamilton Police carry a Glock 22 handgun or Pistol with hollow-point .40 S&W calibre ammunition.
These firearms replaced the aging .38 Special revolver. A police cruiser might carry a Remington Model 870 which is a shotgun capable of firing a variety of shotgun shells. Other Services have begun carrying the carbine rifle.
Other less-lethal weapons carried include conducted energy weapons (Tasers), pepper spray, and an expandable baton. In addition, the personal equipment of police officers typically includes: handcuffs, flashlight, portable radio, notebook, and a pair of disposable gloves and Kevlar gloves.
The Emergency Response Unit (ERU) are issued a Glock handgun with 9mm calibre ammunition. They also use a variety of Less-lethal weapons such as flexible baton rounds. Other weapons used by ERU include: