Halton Police turns 40

January 1, 2014 marked the fortieth year of regionalized policing in Halton

Halton Police turns 40
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Chantal Corner

Chantal Corner

Sergeant Chantal Corner is the Media Relations Officer for the Halton Regional Police Department. She grew up in Oakville and graduated from Loyola. She still resides in Oakville.

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The ‘Big 4-0’ is a significant milestone in people’s lives – and one that the Halton Regional Police Service is proud to share in this year.

January 1, 2014 marked the fortieth year of regionalized policing in Halton, and over that time, there have been significant changes both within policing and in the community at large.

Prior to January 1, 1974, the County of Halton consisted of the Towns of Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Georgetown, Acton and the Townships of Esquesing and Nassagaweya. Acton and the two townships were policed by the Ontario Provincial Police, while the remaining municipalities each maintained their own police service.

Effective January 1, 1974, the County was reorganized into the Regional Municipality of Halton, consisting of the City of Burlington, the Towns of Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills, with a combined population of approximately 204,000 citizens.

The four municipal services were merged into the Halton Regional Police Service, with a total strength of 205 officers and 45 civilians. The Ontario Provincial Police continued to police the remainder of the Region until 1975, when the Regional Service had expanded to the point where it could assume responsibility for the entire area.

Over the past 40 years, the Service has grown to a present strength of more than 1,000 sworn and civilian members. The Region itself is a blend of residential, light industrial and rural areas covering an area of 987 square kilometers with a population of over 530,000.

“Although how we deliver policing – and the tools and technologies we have in place to support us in doing that – has radically changed over the years, one thing has remained constant: our commitment to excellence and public safety,” said Chief of Police Steve Tanner.

“I am proud to say that today, Halton is the safest regional municipality in Canada, and has the lowest crime rate since regionalization in 1974.  Bottom line: we are safer today than we were 40 years ago, and we intend to be even safertomorrow.”

Insp. John van der Leilie started with the Burlington Police in 1967, and is the only current serving Halton Regional Police Service member who was working for the Service prior to its regionalization.

“There have been significant changes in policing over the last 40 years, not only in terms of new technology, new laws, and new approaches to the way we do policing, but also in terms of new ways of thinking.  We are far more community-oriented and focused than ever, and probably one of the most dramatic changes I’ve noticed over the years is the number of agencies to which police are more accountable and provide an oversight function,” said Insp. van der Leilie.

The Service will be marking its 40th year of serving the people of Halton in a number of ways over the coming year, including a historic policing display at Police Day in May, and as part of the evening’s events at the Halton Heroes Gala in September.

For more information on the Halton Regional Police Service, visit our website at www.haltonpolice.ca or follow us on Twitter @HaltonPolice.

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