Niagara Parks Police Service

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Niagara Parks Police Service
Niagara Parks Police crest.jpg
Motto Unity, Loyalty, Responsibility
Agency overview
Formed 1887
Headquarters Niagara Falls, Ontario

Sworn members 25 full time, 25 seasonal
Elected officer responsible
Agency executive
Divisions 1

The Niagara Parks Police Service provides policing services for the Niagara Parks Commission in Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. First established in 1887, the Niagara Parks Police Service is one of the oldest police services in Canada.[1]


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. The service is primarily responsible for approximately 3274 acres of parkland along 56 kilometers of highway 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 five years.

The Niagara Parks Police are fully funded from the budget of the Niagara Parks Commission, an agency of the Province of Ontario, and operate with an annual budget of approximately $3.6 million.[2]

In addition to general uniformed patrol, the Niagara Parks Police employ three specialized units: The High Angle 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;[3] 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.[4] In summer 2013, K-9 Nia retired 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.[5]

The Niagara Parks Police are responsible for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Discretionary enforcement of the Criminal Code, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Highway Traffic Act, Trespass to Property Act, Liquor License Act.
  • Management of the vehicle and pedestrian traffic throughout the Niagara Parks.
  • Maintaining the peace
  • Ensuring the safe return of lost and found property to its rightful owners

During peak tourist season the Parks Police employ approximately thirty students, most of whom 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.[6]

[7]==Chiefs of Police==

There have been 14 Chiefs of Police since the formation of the Niagara Parks Police in 1887. The current Chief of the Niagara Parks Police Service is Mark K. McMullen who was a Superintendent with the Niagara Regional Police Service.[8]

  1. William Bowman (1887–1904)
  2. James Wilcox (1904-1908)
  3. Joseph Vandersluys (1908-1913)
  • 4. J. Harrison Plw (1913-1920)
  • 5. John Jackson (1920-1924)
  • 6. Charles Atcherly (1924-1940)
  • 7. Cyril Bratley (1940-1957)
  • 8. Edwin Rehfeld (1957-1967)
  • 9. Wilfred J. Derbyshire (1967-1993)
  • 10. Raymond G. Vassallo (1993-2003)
  • 11. Timothy Berndt (2003-2008)
  • 12. Douglas Kane (2008-2013)
  • 13. Carl Scott (2013–2017)
  • 14. Mark McMullen (Present)


Title Number Type
Chief of Police 1 Special Constable
Inspector 1 Special Constable
Sergeant 4 Special Constable
Constable 17 Special Constable
Communications Officer 4 Full-time, 7 Relief Provincial Offences Officers Dispatcher
Provincial Offences Officer Approx. 30 Seasonal Officer


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 few 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.[9]




Past vehicles[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 25, William Hogg; Reply, 2010 at 6:22 pm (April 23, 2010). "Time-Honoured Niagara Parks Police – One Of Oldest Police Forces In Ontario – Could Die Without Public Support". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Niagara Parks Police removing Peter DeBernardi from cable attached to Spanish Aero Car - Details". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Name Selected for Niagara Parks Police Puppy - Niagara Parks Blog". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  5. ^ "New canine patrol for Parks Police". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Parks Police agreement renewed". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference undefined was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Niagara Parks Police". Retrieved April 11, 2017. 

External links[edit]