History of the West Vancouver Police Department

 

 

 

The men and women of the West Vancouver Police have been proudly serving our community for over 102 years. 

 

The District of West Vancouver was incorporated March 15, 1912, and a first District Council was elected in April.  6, 1912.  Among the early orders of business for the new council was creation of a local police force.  Councillors voted May 7, 1912 to establish the West Vancouver Police and appoint John Teare as the first constable. 

 

Just three weeks later on May 28, Council appointed F.H. Kettle as the second constable, and Richard D. Jones was named as a third constable in early July. Someone needed to be in charge, so on July 23, 1912, John Teare was appointed Chief of Police with the following, very austere resolution, "That John Teare be hereby appointed Chief of Police with jurisdiction over all other constables within the Municipality, without salary."  On September 10, 1912 the Municipal Engineer, James Duncan, added constable without salary to his job title. 

 

The first police office was an upstairs room in the original Municipal Hall built in 1912.  The Police Department remained in Municipal Hall until the early 1950's when a new Public Safety Building was completed at our present 1330 Marine Drive location. Police, Fire were housed in the building which officially opened on July 9, 1954. The 'first' for West Vancouver, was that the combined police and fire building had a tower installed so firefighters could hang hoses to drain and dry them. 

 

As parsimonious as early police salaries were, so apparently were severance packages. On October 1, 1912 Council dispensed with the services of Constable R.D. Jones, and directed that he be tendered the sum of $5.00 for his past services. Mr. W.B.C. Moodie was appointed to replace him. At the same meeting Council appointed Chief of Police John Teare as Health Officer, Pound Keeper and License Inspector, and offered him a salary of $75.00 per month.

 

Integration of Police Services prompts a lot of modern day public discussion, but officers on the North Shore have worked closely together throughout the history of West Vancouver Police. On November 5, 1912, the District of North Vancouver requested that the constables of North and West Vancouver be empowered to co-operate with a view to keeping down the dangerous practice of indiscriminate shooting along Capilano Road. Chief Teare was sworn in as a Special Constable for North Vancouver.