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Series S181 - Police Commissioners general files

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Police Commissioners general files

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  • Textual record

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  • 1903-1937 (Creation)
    Vancouver (B.C.). Board of Police Commissioners

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3.4 m of textual records

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Administrative history

Under the 1886 Act of Incorporation, City Council was authorized to appoint a Board of Commissioners to oversee police matters for the city. The Board had administrative and regulatory authority over the police force. Originally, appointments to the Board and administration of police matters were entirely a civic responsibility. The Board consisted of the Mayor, the Police Magistrate, and the City Clerk. In 1974, the Board was removed from the City Charter when the Province of British Columbia passed the Police Act. Under this act, which brought the Board under the auspices of the provincial government, the responsibilities and duties of the former board were to be assumed by a newly constituted board consisting of the Mayor, one person appointed by City Council and three persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council after consultation with Council. Despite this change, the main purpose of the Board--general oversight of policing for the city--has remained constant. The administrative powers of the Board, as set out in the 1886 Charter included: appointing members of the police department, drawing up the pay list and fixing salaries, controlling police buildings and any other expenditures connected with the police department. Its regulatory functions included the making of by-laws and regulations and the attaching of penalties for infractions of by-laws. At various times, the Board was responsible for setting regulations for the governing of the police force; making recommendations to Council concerning appointments to and dismissals from the police force; administering the Police Court, gaols, industrial schools, lock-up houses, reformatories and houses of detention. Under the 1974 Police Act, the regulatory and administrative powers of the Board are virtually the same. It is empowered to make rules concerning the administration of the police force, prevention of neglect and abuse by its constables and the efficient discharge of duties and functions by the police force and its officers. It is responsible for preparing an annual budget for submission to City Council and investigating and reporting on matters concerning law enforcement, crime prevention, police and policing in its municipality. These reports are submitted to the provincial Police Commission.

Related Resources:
Police Department fonds; Police Court fonds.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Series consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence with City officials and private citizens, reports of the Police Court and Police Department, minutes of the Police Court, information on specific cases, and accounts. The files are arranged by year, and alphabetically by specific or general file title. Included in this series are records on a range of topics including administrative matters, monthly statistical reports, police employment petitions, complaints against officers, hiring female officers, department translators, requests for parade escorts, and local interest groups for issues such as temperance or traffic safety and other records.

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Access to some files in this series is restricted. Some records contain personal information about identifiable individuals. Researchers wanting to access files less than 100 years old must complete an ‘Access to restricted records’ form. Consult file list and archivist for details.

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File list available.

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