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Dominion Police Force

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The Dominion Police Force existed between 1868 and 1920, and was one of the predecessors of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.


Arising from the Western Frontier Constabulary, which had been in existence since 1864, the Dominion Police was created on 22 May 1868 after the assassination of Thomas D'Arcy McGee.

It was organized as a police force for protecting federal government buildings (including the Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hill) and naval yards at Halifax and Esquimalt, providing bodyguards for government leaders, carrying out secret service work arising from the activities of the Fenian raids, and enforcing certain federal laws such as those relating to counterfeiting and human trafficking. Where the Public Works Peace Preservation Act, 1869 was brought into force, the Police also had responsibility for keeping the peace for specified railways and canals that were under construction.

In Ontario, Commissioners were vested with the same powers as police magistrates and justices of the peace in that Province, and constables had the same status as those appointed under provincial law.

The Police also acquired responsibilities for compiling fingerprint and criminal records and administering a parole service.

In May 1918, the 969-member Dominion Police was assigned under the Department of Militia and Defence and became a civilian wing of the Canadian Military Police Corps.[10] The civilian members of the CMPC were merged with the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (Canada's western police force) on 1 February 1920, to form the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The CMPC was disbanded on 1 December 1920.


It consisted of Commissioners and constables appointed for that purpose, and its authority extended over the provinces and all parts of the territories not patrolled by the RNWMP. The organization was decentralized, with many Commissioners being appointed with either provincial or national responsibility, and it had two national co-commissioners until 1876. The national Commissioner also acted as the Commissioner of the Montreal Water Police, which reported separately to the Minister of the Marine and Fisheries. Although formed under different statutory authority, its constables were appointed as police officers under the 1868 Act.