Parks Police

The Parks Board couldn't transfer the parks police directly to the city force because the men couldn't meet the qualifications. Rather than just abandon the force completely, it was decided to make them park custodians with a slight pay increase. By making them park custodians, it was possible to assign them to full time positions in one park instead of having them there for only 10 minutes at a time. If they needed help, they had to call on the city police, as custodians did in other cities.

A permanent police patrol of Hamilton's parkland began May 15, 1967. The patrol was the first to be carried out on a regular basis since the six-man parks police force had been disbanded in June of 1963. Experienced men carried out the parks work and extra men filled in on regular duty. For eight hours each day, one motorcycle policeman inspected the parks in his area. Special attention was given to known trouble spots. The motorcycle policeman was in radio contact with dispatchers at Central Police Station in case trouble developed. At other hours, the parks were watched by regular patrols.

Up until 1979, the parks were patrolled by policemen in uniform. It was found that it didn't work because the people could see the policemen coming a mile away. It was decided to allow the officers to dress casually but wearing shorts was thought to be too casual. Every now and then they were called away to do something else where shorts would be inappropriate.

 

References:

1. Clipping Files. Hamilton - Parks - Parks Police. Local History & Archives, HPL.

2. Hamilton Police Department Scrapbook. vol. 9. p. 37. Local History & Archives, HPL (352.2 H189)

3. Steel Shots. August 23, 1963. p. 5. (Periodical)

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