York Regional Police

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York Regional Police
York Regional Police Logo.svg
Logo of the York Regional Police.
Motto Deeds Speak
Agency overview
Formed 1971
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 47 Don Hillock Drive, Aurora, Ontario
Sworn members 1433 (2010)
Unsworn members 520 (2010)
Elected officer responsible The Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Agency executive Eric Jolliffe, Chief of Police
Facilities
Divisions 5
Website
www.yrp.ca

York Regional Police ("YRP") is a law enforcement organization that serves over 1.1 million residents in the York Region, Ontario, Canada, located north of Toronto. YRP was formed in 1971 from the police forces maintained by the nine municipalities which amalgamated into York Region at the time.

History[edit]

York Regional Police was formed in 1971 when the province forced the creation of a regional upper tier municipal government that included the lower tier municipalities of York County.[1]

Prior to 1971 there were several police forces serving individual communities:

  • King Township Police;
  • Vaughan Township Police;
  • Whitchurch Township Police;
  • Markham Township Police;
  • North Gwillimbury Township Police;
  • Georgina Township Police;
  • East Gwillimbury Township;
  • Town of Richmond Hill Police;
  • Town of Newmarket Police;
  • Town of Aurora Police;
  • Village of Stouffville Police;
  • Village of Sutton Police;
  • Village of Markham Police;
  • Village of Woodbridge Police.

YRP's motto "Deeds Speak" is derived from the motto of the 3rd York Militia Regiment, many of whom also served as local constables in the Home District.[2] The YRP crest is based on the crest from the former County of York government.

Command[edit]

York Regional Police senior command consists of the Chief of Police and two Deputy Chiefs.

The head of the police service is Chief Eric Jolliffe who was sworn in as Chief on December 13, 2010. He replaced retired Chief Armand P. La Barge after he completed 37 years of service. Chief Jolliffe was a former Deputy Chief of the force. The administration and senior command are based at York Regional Police Headquarters in Newmarket, Ontario.

List of Chiefs of York Regional Police[edit]

A list of Chiefs of York Regional Police since its creation in 1971:

  • Bruce Crawford 1971-1987
  • Donald Hillock 1987-1992, former Aurora Township Police officer
  • Bryan Cousineau 1992-1997, forced to resigned due to charges of breach of trust
  • Peter Scott 1997-1998, Acting Chief after resignation of Chief Cousineau
  • Julian Fantino 1998-2000, former senior Metro Toronto police officer, Chief of London Police, later as Toronto Police Chief, provincial Commissioner of Emergency Management (Assistant Deputy Minister) and former Commissioner of the OPP
  • Robert Middaugh 2000-December 12, 2002, 34 year career police officer; former Deputy Chief in Halton, Chief in Hamilton-Wentworth
  • Armand P. La Barge December 12, 2002-December 2010, former York Regional Police Deputy Chief and career officer with the force
  • Eric Jolliffe December 13, 2010 – present

Operations[edit]

Operations are composed of:

  • Administrative Services
  • Information Services
  • Investigative Services
  • Support Services
  • Community Services
  • Court Services
  • Emergency Support (ERU and EDU)

York Region Police is divided into five geographical districts:

The Marine Unit consists of 7 members and other volunteers and patrols southern shoreline of Lake Simcoe and other York Region waterways. The Marine Unit belongs to 3 District and is stationed at the Keswick Community Policing Station at Crates Marina on Lake Simcoe. The unit has 6 boats at their disposal.

Emergency Support is a 23 member unit with Emergency Response Unit and Explosive Disposal Unit.

There are two sub-stations serving smaller communities within York Region:

  • Keswick Community Policing Centre
  • Stouffville Community Policing Centre

Workforce[edit]

The service currently has an authorized strength of close to 1,600 sworn members and approximately 500 civilian staff. York Regional Police is only one of two forces in the greater Toronto area with an active air support unit (Durham is the other police force with one). While the Toronto Police Service does not have an air unit, York's air unit serves their area under a mutual support agreement.

Marked cruisers are labelled with the motto Deeds Speak.

York Regional Police Chevrolet Impala cruiser parked on a lawn at the intersection of Highway 7 and Valleymede Dr.
Product list and details
 Make/Model   Type   Status   Origin 
Ford Taurus (marked) - regular cruisers Active  United States
Ford Explorer (marked) - regular cruisers Active  United States
Ford Crown Victoria (marked) - regular cruisers active  Canada
Dodge Charger cruiser active  Canada
Chevrolet Impala cruiser active  United States
Chevrolet Malibu cruiser  United States
Chevrolet Suburban SUV active  United States
Chevrolet Caprice and Caprice Classic cruiser 1970s-1980s - all retired  United States
Harley Davidson FLHTP motorcycle active  United States
Dodge RAM van active  United States
Enstrom 480 (Callsign: AIR1) retired and traded-in for - Eurocopter EC120B (Callsign: AIR2) helicopter active  France
GMC C6500 RIDE command vehicle active  United States
GMC Vandura Forensics unit truck active  United States
Chevrolet C4500 support vehicle active  United States
GMC Savanna 4500 support vehicle active  United States
Chevrolet Tahoe SUV active  United States
Ford Freestar van active  United States/ Canada
Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV active  Japan
Farbor/Freightliner Trucks Command Unit active  United States
marine launch active
MAR1 - The "WAAWAATESI" 34' (named for the Ojibway word for Firefly) marine launch active Hike Metal Products in Wheatley, Ontario  Canada
MAR2 - Naawig 36' (to open water) marine launch active Hike Metal Products in Wheatley, Ont  Canada A15 - 18' zodiac active  United States
A16 - 10' zodiac active  United States
A17 - 'John' canine boat active  United States
Volkswagen Beetle Safety Bug active  Germany
Airboat ice rescue boat - operations on Lake Simcoe active  Canada
Cambli International Thunder 1 Armoured tactical response vehicle delivered 2011  Canada

Uniform[edit]

Front line officers are dressed in dark blue (shirts, cargo pants (with red stripe) and boots), standard in most municipal police forces in Ontario. Winter jackets are either black or reflective orange/yellow with the word POLICE in white and blue at the back. Previously the force wore light blue shirts, typical of most police forces in Ontario.

The uniform patch consist of the force's crest with wording "York Regional Police" on a black tombstone shape.

Auxiliary members wear the same uniform, lack of weapons, different shoulder patch and different hat band (checkerboard pattern) distinguishes them from front line officers.

Officers wear standard forage caps and may opt for Yukon hats in the winter. Motorcycle units have white helmets. Black or reflective gloves are also provided to officers directing traffic. Red caps are used by search teams looking for missing persons.

Senior officers have white shirts and a dark blue dress jacket.

Crest[edit]

  • St. Edward's Crown
  • ribbon containing the words York Regional Police
  • the shield contains:
    • sheaf of wheat - means harvest of one's hopes has been secured [3] or agricultural economy of York Region
    • tree of knowledge
    • steam ship - represents the marine unit and waterways of northern York Region
    • deer - means of one who will not fight unless provoked; peace and harmony [4]

Flag[edit]

The YRP flag consists of a nautical B signal flag with the YRP crest located in the white portion of the flag.[5]

Ranks[edit]

The rank insignia of York Regional Police is similar to that used by police services elsewhere in Canada and in the United Kingdom, except that the usual "pips" are replaced by maple leaves.

Police Senior Officers[edit]

The day-to-day and regional operations are commanded by senior officers:

Uniform Non-Commissioned Officers[edit]

On-road enforcement and emergency response is supervised by:

Investigative Non-Commissioned Officers[edit]

Investigations are divided into crimes against persons and crimes against property. These investigations are conducted by:

Police Officers[edit]

  • Constable - first class (4+ years), second class (3+ years), third class (2+ years), fourth class (1+ years), probationary (less than 1 year)

Civilian Members[edit]

  • Cadet
  • Special Constable(Court Security Officers) - Special Constables are sworn-in pursuant to section 53 of the Police Services Act which confers Peace Officer status. Special constables have the powers of a police officer to enforce federal statutes and various provincial statutes while in the execution of their duties.
  • Station Duty Officers
  • Police Communicators
  • Auxiliary Constables (approx. 120 members circa. August 2007) Pursuant to Section 52 of the Police Services Act, a Chief of Police can appoint Auxiliary Constables to act as volunteers. An Auxiliary constable is not a peace officer but has the authority of a police officer only if he or she is accompanied or supervised by a police officer and is authorized to perform police duties by the Chief of Police.

Communications[edit]

Communications is the branch of York Regional Police responsible for receiving all 911 and non-emergency police calls. Under the supervision of Information Services, police communicators are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The communications center is located within police headquarters in Newmarket, Ontario. Staff currently work 12 hour shifts, with four days on, followed by four days off. The communications staff are non-sworn members of York Regional Police, though the bureau is under the direction of an Inspector and a Staff Sergeant.

Weapons[edit]

Product list and details
 Make/Model   Type   Status   Origin 
Glock 22 or 23 pistol active  Austria
Berretta Centurion 96D pistol active  Italy
Remington 870P pump action shotgun active  United States
Beretta 5mm Semi-Automatic Pistols sold to Belleville Police Service  Italy
Colt Canada C7 rifle rifle active  Canada

Emergency Response Unit[edit]

The Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is the YRP SWAT team formed in 1980. ERU is a group of specialized operators. The unit's primary mandate is to deal with high-risk situations beyond the safe operating limits of police officers with their normal equipment and training. The ERU provides assistance during any high risk situations by performing the following;

  1. Containment
  2. Apprehension of armed and/or barricaded Persons
  3. Hostage rescue
  4. Explosive forced entry
  5. Explosive disposal
  6. High risk search warrants
  7. High risk vehicles/trains/aircraft assaults

In 1988 demand for the Emergency Response Unit was on the rise. Various operational obligations including the fatal shooting of an armed suspect by the ERU during a hostage rescue in Richmond Hill highlighted the need for additional members. In 1989 the Emergency Response Unit increased to 11 members.

In 2001 York Regional Police established a Shared Service Agreement with Durham Regional Police Service, which allows for reciprocal tactical support in the event of large scale or long duration deployments. York Regional Police provides Tactical Team and Hostage Rescue Team support to South Simcoe Police Service upon their request.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, increased awareness of terrorist threats provided the greatest single incentive for growth and investment of tactical teams in Ontario since the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Quebec.

The Emergency Response Unit roster was expanded in 2002 to an undisclosed number. The roster includes both snipers and explosives technicians.

The ERU has full Explosive Forced Entry capability which is mainly used in its hostage rescue and armed/barricaded operations. The ERU is regularly involved in high risk search warrant service within York Region and the Greater Toronto Area as well as a number of high profile Joint Forces Operations within Ontario.

York Regional Police ERU conducts its own strenuous selection process with the applicants mainly being from the departments' uniform divisions. The unit also trains its own candidates in most required disciplines and is one of the founding members of the Ontario Tactical Advisory Body (OTAB).

Members of the Emergency Response Unit currently hold positions within OTAB (Ontario Tactical Advisory Board) and CETA (Canadian Explosive Technicians Association) as well as membership in the NTOA (National Tactical Officers Association) and IABTI (International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators).

Traffic Bureau[edit]

The Traffic Bureau was formed in 1989. At the time, the Traffic Bureau worked out of offices located at 200 Industrial Parkway South in the Town of Aurora. The Traffic Bureau was made up of officers whose primary function was to enforce traffic related laws. The unit was made up of six officers who drove motorcycles and marked police cruisers.

As time went on the unit began to specialize in the reconstruction of motor vehicle collisions. The unit expanded to approximately 20 officers working on four different platoons. The platoons followed the regular uniform officer shifts.

Collision Reconstruction Unit[edit]

On January 1, 2002 the Traffic Bureau was split into two separate entities, a Traffic Enforcement Unit and a Technical Collision Investigation Unit (T.C.I.U.). The T.C.I.U. was made up of six officers on two separate shifts supervised by one supervisor. The two teams worked four days, with one team working a day shift Tuesday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The other team would then work an afternoon shift from 3:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. The teams alternated shifts every other week.

In 2004 the Technical Collision Investigation Unit was renamed the Collision Reconstruction Unit. The unit had eight members made up of investigators and collision reconstructionists. The unit was still working with two shifts and each shift had a supervisor.

At present the Collision Reconstruction Unit is made up of 10 officers. Two teams of four investigators and collision reconstructionists and a supervisor. The team members specialize in investigative techniques and collision reconstruction.

On December 15, 2003, York Regional Police's Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated a collision on Rutherford Road west of Pine Valley Drive in the City of Vaughan that killed former NHL Chicago Black Hawks player Keith Magnusson. Rob Ramage, another former NHL player, was arrested and charged with Impaired Operation Causing Death and Bodily Harm, Dangerous Operation Causing Death and Bodily Harm as well as Over 80mgs. At the trial in the fall of 2007, Rob Ramage was convicted of all the counts except the Over 80mgs. In January 2008 Rob Ramage was sentenced to 4 years in prison. He appealed his conviction and sentence. On July 12, 2010 the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentence.

The members of the unit have received training in collision reconstruction, marine reconstruction and other related fields in Ontario as well as in the U.S.

Enforcement Unit[edit]

On January 1, 2002 the Traffic Bureau was split into two separate entities, a Traffic Enforcement Unit and a Technical Collision Investigation Unit (T.C.I.U.). The enforcement Unit was made up of 14 officers and two supervisors.

The Enforcement Unit is responsible for enforcement of all traffic laws. Officers from the Enforcement Unit perform breath tests and test drivers for sobriety utilizing Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and Drug Recognition Experts. York Regional Police's Traffic Bureau is considered a leader in Ontario in the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program with over 100 frontline officers trained in the S.F.S.T. battery and 35 officers trained as D.R.E.s. The Traffic Bureau also has the largest complement of S.F.S.T. and D.R.E. instructors in Ontario.

Officers from the Enforcement Unit utilize various speed measuring devices from hand-held radars and lasers to moving radar units in their police vehicles. Speed enforcement is conducted throughout the region. Special computerized ticket writing units are utilized in police vehicles to ensure there are no human errors.

The Enforcement Unit also instituted a Prohibited Driver program where officers investigate persons convicted of criminal driving offences whereby their driving privileges are revoked. Members use unmarked vehicles and conduct surveillance on suspects' home and court to catch violators.

Emergency services[edit]

York Regional Police is part of York Region's Emergency Services and works with:

Community Services[edit]

Bucky the Beaver is the force's mascot and is used at community events.[6]

Bobby the Bear, Morris the Moose and Bucky the Beaver represent York Regional Police at various special events.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]