|HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: ||Dates of founding and/or dissolution:|
The Alberta Provincial Police (APP) was established on April 5, 1917, when the Alberta Provincial Police Act (S.A. 1917, c. 4) was proclaimed. It was disbanded on April 1, 1932 under the provisions of The Provincial Police Act, 1928, Amendment Act, 1932 (S.A. 1932, c. 14).
According to its Act, the responsibilities of the APP included:
- Undertaking all duties in relation to the preservation of the peace; the prevention of crime and of offences against the laws and ordinances in force in the Province of Alberta, the criminal laws of Canada; and the apprehension of criminals, offenders, and others who may be lawfully taken in to custody;
- Executing all warrants and performing all duties connected to that activity which could lawfully be executed and performed;
- Performing all duties in relation to escorting and conveying convicts, other prisoners and lunatics to and from any courts, places of punishment or confinement, asylums or other places.
Predecessor and successor bodies:
Policing of the area now known as the Province of Alberta began in 1874 with the creation of the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP). As part of its transition from part of the Northwest Territories to a province in 1905, Alberta signed an agreement with the federal government regarding the use of the NWMP as the province’s police force. Citing reduced manpower as a result of recruitment for World War I as well as increasing responsibilities, the NWMP gave one year’s notice in 1916 that it would not renew the agreement. In 1917, Alberta created its own provincial police force, Alberta Provincial Police. The NWMP, known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) after 1920, continued to act as a federal police service in Alberta.
When the APP disbanded in 1932, its responsibilities were taken over by the K Division of the RCMP. Although a provision of the Police Act (S.A. 1953, c. 90) permitted the re-establishment of a provincial police force, such a force was not created again, and this provision was removed in a revised Police Act in 1973 (S.A. 1973, c. 44).
The APP initially reported to the Department of Attorney General through the Deputy Attorney General, who was a member of the APP’s Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners was disbanded in 1919 and replaced with a single Commissioner of the APP reporting to the Deputy Attorney General.
Headquartered in Edmonton, a three-member Board of Commissioners reporting to the Attorney General initially controlled and managed the APP. The responsibility of the Board was to appoint a police force comprising a Superintendent, an Assistant Superintendent, Inspectors, special constables, and constables not exceeding 150 in number. The Board was disbanded in 1919, replaced with a single Commissioner supervising the Superintendent of the force.
The Superintendent had command of the APP subject to the control, authority and authority of the Commissioner. He was responsible for the overall administration, supervision of staff, efficiency, discipline, and internal financial management of the APP. The positions of Commissioner and Superintendent were combined in 1922.
In terms of its structure and operations, the APP followed the NWMP's example in almost every phase of work. Based in Edmonton, the APP headquarters had an Accounts Branch, a Corps Sergeant Major, and, after 1928, a Criminal Investigation Branch. The APP’s field operations took place in the following administrative divisions:
- A Division (Edmonton). It had sub-districts in Westlock and Wainwright and merged with the APP Headquarters in 1928;
- B Division (Red Deer). It had sub-districts in Stettler and Wetaksiwin. It was disbanded in 1928 and its detachments divided between A and C Divisions;
- C Division (Calgary). It had sub-districts in Drumheller and Bassano;
- D Division (Lethbridge). It had sub-districts in Medicine Hat, Blairmore and Claresholm;
- E Division (Peace River). This division was added in 1918 and was divided into the E1 (Peace River) and E2 Divisions (Grande Prairie) in 1920.
Within the sub-districts within each division, there were detachments operated by constables or non-commissioned officers.
Names of Chief Officers:
Board of Commissioners
Arthur George Browning, 1917-1919
Philip Carteret Hill Primrose, 1917-1919
Gilbert Edward Sanders, 1917-1919
Alfred Cuddy, 1919-1922
A.E.C. McConnell, 1917-1918
W.C. Bryan, 1918-1922
Commissioner and Superintendent
W.C. Bryan, 1922-1931
W.F.W. Hancock, 1931-1932 (acting)
|RELATED RECORDS: ||The Provincial Archives holds records related to the Alberta Provincial Police from a variety of government departments. Within the Department of Attorney General, records relation to the administration of the Alberta Provincial Police can be found in GR1976.0222, GR1976.0232, GR1976.0347, and GR1979.0287. Within the Executive Council, oaths of police officers can be found in GR1970.0427, and additional files can be found in the Office of the Premier files in GR1969.0289. Files pertaining to the construction of local police stations by the Department of Public Works can be found in GR1973.0046.|
The Provincial Archives also holds private records pertaining to the Alberta Provincial Police, including the Edgar E.C. Powell fonds (PR1197), Barry Gibson fonds (PR1825), W.C. Bryan fonds (PR2016), Frederick and Harold Bailey fonds (PR2239), Robert Edmund Baynes fonds (PR2243), Muriel Dunn fonds (PR3164), and the McPherson family fonds (PR3180). Photographs pertaining to the Alberta Provincial Police also can be found in the Provincial Archives' A Photograph Collection.
Additional records of the Alberta Provincial Police and its officers are located at the Glenbow Archives in Calgary.