A Brief History of the New Westminster Police Department
In 1873, the Council for New Westminster made a decision to hire a citizen who would be on the payroll of the City as their own police constable. That decision was made in March of 1873. The person they hired was a former Royal Engineer Sergeant by the name of Jonathan Morey. Mr. Morey was hired by the Council for New Westminster on March 10, 1873. Constable Morey was responsible for policing the City during the day to keep the citizens safe. The hiring of Mr. Morey was the first documented record located indicating a full time police constable who patrolled New Westminster and was paid by the City. Before Mr. Morey’s hiring, members of the community were hired on a short term basis as magistrates to solve law issues.
Since 1873, policing has changed from a one constable town to an active and vibrant City with a police force of over one hundred members. Since the day Mr. Morey started his job, over three hundred men and women have served or are presently serving the citizens of New Westminster. This does not include the many civilian staff, Reserve Constables and volunteers who have dedicated their time to New Westminster.
Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principles:
- The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
- The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
- Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
- The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
- Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
- Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
- Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
- Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
- The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.