Fredericton / Fredericton Police Force / About the police force

History of the Police

Up to the early 1800s, law enforcement in Fredericton followed the British system of having an unpaid constable in each ward of the city. As the city grew, it became more and more obvious that this system was not working. And so, in June of 1851, the Fredericton Police Force—consisting of just two officers—was established.

Sergeant Paul Phillips joined the force in 1883, and more or less ran the police force in the early 1900s. Although he was referred to in several photos and articles as the Chief of Police, the City Council never permitted him use the title. He retired in 1910 at the age of 67.

The first official Chief of Police was John Hawthorne. He was given the job in 1905, and stayed on for three years.

Over time, the police force continued to grow. By 1932, it had to buy its first police car.

In 1971, the police force had to find a new home. It moved into the new building pictured, sharing space with the Fire Department.

1973 marked a new period for the force: the first female police officer, Shirley Jollimore, was hired.

In 1983 the Force moved its headquarters to its present location on Queen Street.

There have been eleven Chiefs in the Force's history:

  • 1905-1908 John Hawthorne
  • 1908 George H Winters
  • 1913-1916 John H Mcollom
  • 1917-1921 George Findlay
  • 1923-1945 Nathaniel Jones
  • 1946-1954 J. D. O'Connell
  • 1955-1957 Alfred Barker
  • 1957-1972 Bryce Neely
  • 1972-1976 Ronald Goodyear
  • 1976-1980 Lionel Poirier
  • 1980-2005 Gordon Carlisle
  • 2005-2012 Barry MacKnight
  • 2012-2013 Leanne Fitch (Acting)
  • 2013-Present Leanne Fitch