Brandon Police Service turns 140

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BPS News Release

On May 30, 1882, the City of Brandon received its Charter recognizing it as an incorporated City in the Province of Manitoba.  July 3rd, 1882 saw the newly formed City of Brandon hold its inaugural meeting in the schoolhouse located on the 100th block of 10th Street.  On the next scheduled meeting, held on July 12, 1882 the new Brandon City Council formed the Brandon Police Force as it was initially called.  The Mayor and Council hired Chief Constable Archibald L. McMillan and Donald Campbell as well as John Keays as Constables.  Today, we mark 140 years of dedicated service to the City of Brandon and its citizens.

In the years following the initial hiring of those three members, 410 women and men have joined the Brandon Police Service.  Today, our workforce includes 35 civilian employees and 100 sworn members, which includes six Special Constables.  Some of those who served as members over the years were part of our organization for as little as 3 days but most spent the better part of their working life serving the City of Brandon, like our longest serving member of 44 years Retired Constable Gerry Paddock.  Many of our members have served this community but also served our country on the battlefields in Europe in both World Wars and some of those officers made the ultimate sacrifice in those conflicts.

Constable Carol Fisher joined the Brandon City Police Department in 1979, becoming the first female member of our Service, retiring at the rank of Sergeant in January of 2012.   Our Police Service is proud to be able to say that we now have 12 women serving in our ranks.

The Brandon Police Service has been housed in many buildings over the years.  When initially formed in 1882, we shared accommodation arrangement with the City Administration, Fire Department and Court Room in a building on the corner of 7th Street and Princess Avenue.

Our Police Service has been fortunate to be on the ground floor of many technological advances supporting police work, including training in the science of fingerprint analysis as early as the 1920’s.  In the late 1960’s Retired Sergeant Doug Bottley was trained in the skill of forensic analysis and formed our first Forensic Unit.

As larger cities throughout North America introduced what was then known as the 9-9-9 system, the City of Brandon was one of the smallest cities at the time to adopt this technology, allowing emergency access to police assistance through this 3-digit dialing.  Later of course, the 9-9-9 system was revamped into the 9-1-1 system that we use today.

In 1980, the Brandon Police introduced the Canine Unit, with then Constable Leon Flannigan and Police Service Dog “Mac” receiving training from the Calgary Police Service.  Ten years later, in 1990, Chief Brian Scott introduced the first formal version of a Tactical Response Unit to our Police Service.

The Brandon Police Force, Brandon City Police Department and Brandon Police Service is proud of our 140-year history.  We commit our Service to ensuring the safety of the citizens of Brandon, then, now and in the future.  We proudly dedicate our work to our “Community First” motto.