Winnipeg Police Service

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Winnipeg Police Service
Winnipeg Police Service Logo.svg
Logo of the Winnipeg Police Service.
Motto Building Relationships
Agency overview
Formed 1874
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Legal jurisdiction Municipal
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Winnipeg, Manitoba
Sworn members 1442
Unsworn members 510
Elected officer responsible The Honourable James Allum, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Agency executive Devon Clunis, Chief of Police
Stations 5

The Winnipeg Police Service is the police force of the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


When Winnipeg became a city in 1873, an election was held to select the city's new Mayor and Aldermen. Those appointed decided to hire city officials, including a Chief Constable. On February 23, 1874, John S. Ingram was appointed the first Chief of Police of Winnipeg.[1]

During the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, most of the force was replaced with 2000 better paid special constables for refusing to sign a declaration promising to not belong to a union or participate in a sympathy strike, even though they remained on duty during the strike. The union was thus broken, and Chris H. Newton became the acting Chief Constable.

In 1972, Winnipeg merged with its eight neighbouring communities, causing the amalgamation of the communities, but still having eight police services with different uniforms and radio channels. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) contract for Charleswood and Headingly was cancelled, and that area fell under the Inner City patrol area. On October 21, 1974, the amalgamation of the services was complete, and the remaining eight services formed into six districts. On January 1, 1975, all police officers in Winnipeg started to wear the same uniform with matching shoulder flashes that stated, "One, with the strength of many".

Police Chief Constables
Police Chief Constable Years served
John S. Ingram 1874–1875
D. B. Murray 1875–1887
John C. McRae 1887–1911
Donald MacPherson 1911–1919
Christopher H. Newton 1919–1934
George Smith 1934–1947
Charles McIver 1947–1953
Robert T. Taft 1953–1965
George S. Blow 1965–1970
Norman M. Stewart 1970–1974

In the early 1990s, J.B. Dale Henry, a retired RCMP officer and former commander of the Manitoba "D" division, was selected as the first Chief of Police not from the service's own ranks. Henry was well respected amongst minorities and sought to change and improve the image of police in Winnipeg. One of the most noticeable changes was the name for police, from the Winnipeg Police Force (which it had been for 120 years), to the Winnipeg Police Service. Another change was the addition of the motto "Community Commitment".

Henry also changed the department crest to the one known today and pictured above. The 13 golden stars on the badge represent the 13 communities that came together to form Winnipeg during the amalgamation in the 1970s, and the crocus is the Provincial flower.

In 2003, City Council approved a plan by the Winnipeg Police Service to go from six districts, to four. This plan involves three new police facilities. The new East District Station was completed in 2008, and the West District Station was completed in November 2013.[2]


The Winnipeg Police Service is headed by Chief of Police Devon Clunis appointed November 2, 2012, succeeding Keith McCaskill. The two Deputy Chiefs are Dave Thorne and Art Stannard. The service has 2150 officers of which approximately half are on the front lines or known as, General Patrol (Uniform Operations). The WPS also has over 510 civilian workers.


Last generation WPS Police Patch - not current issue

The City of Winnipeg is divided into four policing districts: Downtown, West, North and East.[3] Each district contains several generalized and specialized police units.

Specialized units include:

  • Bicycle Patrol Unit
  • Bomb Disposal Unit
  • Canine Unit
  • Central Traffic Unit
  • Crowd Management Unit
  • Photo Enforcement Unit
  • Pawn Unit
  • River Patrol Unit
  • Underwater Search & Recovery Unit
  • Victim Services Unit
  • Street Crime Unit
  • Tactical Support Team (TST) – formerly the part-time Emergency Response Unit (ERU) made up of officers trained for special circumstances, such as hostage situations, armed and barricaded incidents and search warrants.
  • Training Unit – Includes, police vehicle operations instructors, policy and law instructors, firearms instructors, and use of force instructors – located at the WPS Training Academy
  • Division 40 – Criminal Investigation Bureau – Homicide, Drugs, Hate Crimes, Major Crimes, Morals, Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC), Organized Crime and Crime Stoppers
  • Division 41 – Criminal Investigation Bureau – Missing Persons, Child Abuse, Internet Child Exploitation (ICE), Domestic Violence, High Risk Offenders, Sex Crimes, Vulnerable Persons, and Youth Crime
  • Division 42 – Criminal Investigation Bureau – Arson, Commercial Crime, Stolen Auto, Pawn, Surveillance and Forensic Services
  • Flight Operations Unit
  • Auxiliary Force Cadet Section


A marked WPS cruiser - not current markings.

Ranks and Insignia[edit]

  • Chief of Police (crown over three pips)
  • Deputy Chief of Police (crown over two pips)
  • Superintendent (crown over one pip)
  • Inspector (Single crown)
  • Staff Sergeant (four downward-pointing chevrons over ID number)
  • Sergeant (crown over three upward-pointing chevrons all over ID number)
  • Detective Sergeant/Patrol Sergeant (three upward-pointing chevrons over ID number)
  • Senior Constable (single upward-pointing chevron over ID number)
  • Constable (ID number)
  • Auxiliary Cadets (C-ID number)


Potential trainees must be at least eighteen years old with a High School diploma, and able to complete the Police Officer's Physical Aptitude Test (POPAT), which determines a recruit's physical ability. Training is salaried and takes 37 weeks consisting of classroom, use of force and in the field training with assigned Field Training Officers, who supervise them while they carry out all regular duties. After this process is finished the recruit is inducted into the police service. After five years of general patrol service, officers may apply for specialty divisions like those listed above.

Winnipeg Police Museum[edit]

The Winnipeg Police Museum is a museum in Winnipeg. The museum displays the history of the Winnipeg Police Service from 1874 to the present. Pictures, equipment, vehicles and other artifacts are presented within the museum. An original 1911 jail cell from the North End Station is one of the highlights of the museum.[4]

Chiefs of Police[edit]

Chief Constable of the Winnipeg Police Force[edit]

Chief of Winnipeg Police Department[edit]

Chief of Winnipeg Police Service[edit]

Source: Winnipeg Sun[5] and WPS [6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History & Formation". City of Winnipeg. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Four District Model". City of Winnipeg. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Winnipeg Police Districts & Service Centres". About the Service. City of Winnipeg. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "History & Museum Winnipeg Police Museum". City of Winnipeg. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]