In celebration of our Service's 125th Anniversary in 2002, Heather Ibbotson, a reporter with The Brantford Expositor, wrote
PEACEMAKERS AND LAWBREAKERS:
A 125-YEAR HISTORY OF THE BRANTFORD POLICE SERVICE
We gratefully acknowledge The Ontario Trillium Foundation for making Peacemakers and Lawbreakers possible.
The Brantford Police Service has a long and distinguished record of community service spanning more than 125 years.
While advances in science and technology, changes in the law and ever changing communities have necessitated the evolution of policing over the past 125 years, one thing remains constant.
All of today’s officers, from the beat patrol officer to the forensics expert to the tactical team member continue to have the same goal as did the old-fashioned 19th Century lawmen. They are sworn to serve and protect.
John James Vaughan Chief of Police 1885 - 1904
In honour of the generations of officers who made that commitment, the Brantford Police Service celebrated its rich history in 2002 with the publication of Peacemakers and Lawbreakers, written by Brantford Expositor reporter and local historian Heather Ibbotson.
Brantford's First Police Station - Queen Street 1899 - 1954
The 185-page volume is packed with fascinating facts, daring deeds, heroes and villains. This "warts and all” history tells a complete tale, including the scandals that prompted a 1922 Royal Commission that clamped down on corruption within the force.
- Police had their hands full in trying to catch the notorious Jack the Hugger, who plagued city streets in the mid-1890's with his unwanted "hugging” of unsuspecting female pedestrians.
- Officers, many of them family men, worked feverishly to track down the monstrous child-killer Joseph Kennedy in 1903.
- The city was shocked by the hideous discovery made in the chapter aptly entitled The Head in the Bucket case.
Constable Davison walks the beat in 1937
Peacemakers and Lawbreakers also details the evolution of policing tools and of the police service itself. The service had to respond to change as best it could, as society itself evolved. Newfangled automobiles were a danger. The Great Depression turned the police station into a homeless shelter.