Niagara Parks Police Service
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|Niagara Parks Police Service|
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Officers of Niagara Parks Police are designated Special Constables who have been conferred the full powers of a police officers and; like all police officers in the Province of Ontario, receive their Basic Constable Training at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, Ontario. The service is primarily responsible for approximately 56 square kilometers of property owned and operated under the Niagara Parks Commission; however, the Niagara Regional Police maintain jurisdictional authority over all areas of the Niagara Region, including the Niagara Parks. The appointment authority for the Niagara Parks Police is given by the Niagara Regional Police Services Board and by the Ministry of Community Safety and Corrections of Ontario, and must be renewed every 5 years.
In addition to general uniformed patrol, the Niagara Parks Police employ three specialized units: The High Angel River Team (HART), which consists of officers specially trained in high angle rescue techniques and who have been responsible for the rescue of numerous tourists, stuntmen, and mentally disturbed individuals since its inception; the Marine Unit which, along with the Niagara Regional Police Service patrols both the upper and lower Niagara Rivers; and, as of 2011, the Niagara Parks Police have established their first Canine Unit consisting of one handler and his dog "Nia" trained in search and rescue and explosives detection. In the summer of 2013, K-9 Nia was forced to retire due to a chronic illness which prevented her from continuing as an active police dog. In September 2013 new police K-9 Cinder began his training as Nia's replacement.
The Niagara Parks Police are responsible for; but not limited to, the following:
During peak tourist season the Parks Police employ approximately twenty five students, most of who are participants in local law and security courses. These unarmed members hold the designation of Provincial Offenses Officer and are primarily responsible for the orderly flow of traffic and parking offenses.
In 2010, The Niagara Parks Police faced the possibility of disbandment as they were embroiled in a provincial challenge to the way special constables are viewed and concerns surrounding their use of firearms. However, after months of debate, an official agreement was reached to renew the Service's Special Constable Status, allowing it to continue operating without change.
Chiefs of Police
There have been 13 Chiefs of Police since the formation of the Niagara Parks Police in 1887. The current chief of the Niagara Parks Police is Doug Kane. Kane was a long serving member of Niagara Regional Police and years ago, once worked as a summer student at the park police.
Sworn constables wear traditional police navy blue uniform shirts and cargo pants with red stripe while student Provincial Offences Officers wear a light blue uniform shirts. Jackets are dark navy blue and headgear consists of traditional police cap some times replaced with a ball cap, both bearing the Niagara Parks Police Crest. Yellow reflective vests are worn by traffic officers.
Although the Niagara Parks Police are Special Constables, the sworn full-time officers are among the only Special Constables in Canada authorized to carry firearms on top of other standard equipment such as handcuffs, telescopic baton, pepper spray, two way radios, similar to that of other police services across Canada. Seasonal Provincial Offences Officers are not trained or authorized to carry any form of use of force equipment and therefore carry only two way radios for communication.
The Niagara Parks Police Headquarters is located at 6075 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario, directly across from the American Falls in the former Administrative Building of the Niagara Parks Commission.