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Police History

In the 1700's and early 1800's, law enforcement followed the British system of having a constable in each ward of the city. This person was unpaid, and was expected to deal the disturbances within his ward. As Fredericton grew, it became more and more obvious that this system was not working. By the late 1840's and early 1850's, things were getting out of hand, and on June 27, 1851, the Fredericton Police Force was established. The force at this time consisted of two officers.


In the early 1900's, a provision was made in the Provincial Legislature for Fredericton to appoint a Chief of Police. The City, however, refused to do so, and left the highest rank at Sergeant. This rank was held by Paul Phillips, who joined the force in 1883. He more or less ran the police force, and 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 3 years.

The new City Hall was just completed. In 1883, the police force moved its headquarters to this new location, and stayed there until 1971.


Over time, the police force continued to grow. By 1932, we had to buy our first police car. It was most likely a Chevy, similar to the one pictured here.



In 1971, the police force had to find a new home. We moved into this new building, and shared the space with the Fire Department.

1973 marked a new period for the force. The first female police officer, Shirley Jollimore, was hired. There are now several female officers on the force.



The force found that it needed a new home. The present building on Queen St. was built, and the force moved it's headquarters here in 1983. This has been home ever since.

Acknowledgements go to Nancy Kearns and Sgt. Eric Carr Rtd. for compiling the information presented here.

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