List of law enforcement agencies in British Columbia

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

The following is a list of law enforcement agencies operating in the province of British Columbia, Canada.

Federal agencies

See also List of law enforcement agencies in Canada

  • RCMP "E" Division – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is the largest police body operating in British Columbia, providing federal, provincial, and municipal policing throughout the province. “E” Division has a strength of 5,900 sworn members and employs 1,700 civilian members and public service employees. In addition, approximately 1,200 auxiliary constables volunteer with “E” Division. It is the largest RCMP division, and along with “M” Division in the Yukon, makes up the Pacific Region, one of the four geographical regions of Canada under the RCMP’s policing scheme. “E” Division operates out of 127 local detachments. In 2013, the headquarters was moved from Vancouver to the purpose-built Green Timbers complex in Surrey, which allowed the amalgamation of numerous individual buildings around the Lower Mainland area. It polices all but 12 municipalities in the province and its Commanding Officer is Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens.[1]
  • Canada Border Services Agency - The CBSA employs both Border Services Officers and Immigration Enforcement Officers. Both have powers and duties of a peace officer while on duty. They are designated peace officers, and primarily enforce customs and immigration-related legislation, in particular the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as well as over 90 other Acts of Parliament. Because of their peace officer designation, they also have the power to enforce other Acts of Parliament, including the Criminal Code of Canada. Border Services Officers are equipped with handcuffs, oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, batons, and are currently armed with Beretta PX4 Storm pistols.
  • Canadian Pacific Police Service - The Canadian Pacific Police Service, commonly known as CP Rail Police or simply CPR Police, is a private police force enforcing safety and policing along Canadian Pacific properties and rail lines in Canada and the United States, including limited sections of the Milton line of GO Transit in the Greater Toronto Area. Formerly CP Railway Police, they have a long and storied past within Canada and CP Rail is a part of Canada's history. They are duly appointed and armed federal police officers that gather their authority in Canada via the Railway Safety Act as well as other acts.[2]
  • Canadian National Police Service - The Canadian National Police Service (commonly referred to as the CN Police or CNR Police) is a private police force protecting the property, personnel, and rail infrastructure of Canadian National Railway in Canada and the United States. Established in 1923 upon the amalgamation of several railway companies the Government of Canada established the Canadian National Railway Police. Currently CN Police Officers operate across Canada and the United States. In Canada, the BC Rail Police amalgamated into the CN Police Service in 2005. In the United States three railway police services, Illinois Central Railroad Police, Grand Trunk Railway Police and Wisconsin Central Transportation Police also amalgamated into the CN Police Service.[3]
  • Fishery Officers - the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada employs Fishery Officers whom are designated under section 5(1) of the Fisheries Act and as peace officers are sworn to educate and enforce all provisions of the Act and other related acts and regulations. They carry firearms and other weapons such as pepper spray while conducting patrols and other enforcement initiatives.[4]
  • Park Wardens - Parks Canada employs Park Wardens to protect natural and cultural resources, conduct campground patrols and other targeted enforcement activities, and to ensure the safety of visitors in national parks and marine conservation areas. They are designated under section 18 of the Canada National Parks Act and have the authority of peace officers. They carry firearms and have access to other use of force options.[5]
Environment Canada Officer Badge
  • Environment Canada Officers - Officers appointed pursuant to section 217(3) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, enforcement officers have all the powers of peace officers. There are two designations of enforcement officers: Environmental Enforcement and Wildlife Enforcement. The former administers the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and pollution provisions of the Fisheries Act and corresponding regulations. The latter enforces Migratory Birds Convention Act, Canada Wildlife Act, Species at Risk Act and The Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. All officers wear dark green uniform with black ties and a badge (appear on the right). Environmental Enforcement Officers only carry baton and OC spray whereas Wildlife Enforcement Officers are also equipped with firearm.[6]
  • Canadian Forces Military Police - The Canadian Forces Military Police serve in policing and security roles on every base and station of the Canadian Forces in Canada, as well as with the various regiments and battalions. They are classified as Peace Officers in the Criminal Code of Canada, which gives them the same powers as civilian law enforcement personnel to enforce Acts of Parliament on or in relation to DND property or assets anywhere in the world. They will also become involved if an active Canadian Forces member is arrested or charged with an offence.[7]

Provincial agencies

  • Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit - British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) In 2004, CFSEU-BC was developed in consultation with the Provincial Government. The intent was to integrate the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia (OCABC), municipal police and the RCMP into one combined unit to coordinate the province’s response to the growing threat of organized crime and gang violence. In 2009, under the direction of the provincial and federal governments, CFSEU-BC expanded to include the Integrated Gang Task Force (Uniform Division, Firearms Enforcement Team, Investigative Team) restructuring of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Enforcement and Intelligence Unit, and the establishment of branch offices in Prince George covering northern B.C., and in Kelowna covering southeast B.C.[8]
  • South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service (Metro Vancouver Transit Police) – Created in 2005, they are the only transit police agency in Canada as the TransLink public transit system covers 21 municipalities with 16 different police departments/RCMP detachments. Most other large Canadian cities use a combination of special constables and a transit division of their local police. Transit Police officers have the same authorities and powers as other police officers while on and off duty. They are sworn in as designated provincial constables, with full police powers throughout the province.[9]
  • British Columbia Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) - As part of the Compliance Division of the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment, the Conservation Officer Service is responsible for enforcing over 20 federal and provincial environmental statutes and for responding to wildlife/human conflicts where public safety is at risk. Its headquarters are in Victoria and it has 44 offices throughout the province. It consists of Commercial Environmental Investigations Unit, the Special Investigations Unit, and the Ceremonial Unit. The COS has a strength of 120 regional conservation officers, excluding headquarter staff.[10]
  • British Columbia Sheriff Service (BCSS) - Tracing its roots to the first sheriff appointed by Governor James Douglas for the Colony of Vancouver Island, the modern BCSS was formed after a consolidation of county sheriffs by the NDP government in 1974, and placed under the Ministry of the Attorney General. BCSS responsibilities include transporting prisoners by ground and air, protection of all Supreme,Appeals, Provincial Courts in B.C., assembling and supervising protecting juries, serving court documents, executing warrants, planning and undertaking High Security Operations for large scale trials such as Air India, protecting Federal and Provincial Judiciary, Crown Prosecutors and assisting the Provincial Coroners Office, carrying out court orders.Basic training is undertaken at the Justice Institute of British Columbia.[11]
File:CVSE 2016 Flash.png
CVSE Shoulder Flash
  • British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (BCCVSE) - CVSE began in 1958 as the B.C. Department of Commercial Transport and became responsible for 15 fixed scale facilities and six portable patrol vehicles throughout the Province of BC to protect the highway infrastructure from overloaded vehicles. In the late 1980s the "Weighmasters" began getting under trucks for closer inspections and became known as the "Commercial Vehicle Inspectors" with a broader focus on public safety ensuring that commercial vehicles were in good condition, cargo was safely loaded and drivers were qualified and competent. Today CVSE is responsible for the inspection and enforcement of the National Safety Code and Vehicle Inspection Standards of hundreds of thousands of commercial vehicles. In 2005 CVSE Peace Officers began to conduct speed enforcement for heavy trucks to enhance safety on B.C.’s highway system. As a founding member of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, it represents BC in the tri-national (Canada, Mexico and the United States) conferences. In addition, transport of Dangerous Goods falls under the jurisdiction of CVSE. There are over 230 CVSE officers that are appointed as peace officers under the Motor Vehicle Act Inspectors Authorization Regulation and can issue violation tickets to all motor vehicles on the roads of British Columbia.[12][13]
  • Special Provincial Constable (SPC) - Approximately 25 Provincial Agencies and Crown Corporations employ Special Provincial Constables whose duties vary from Criminal Investigations (Fraud, Forgery, False Pretences, Identity Theft/Fraud) to Regulatory Investigations, Intelligence Gathering and Protective Services. Typical roles are Fraud Investigators (Benefits/Claims Fraud and Identity Fraud for ICBC, WorkSafeBC, Income Assistance, Childcare and Healthcare); Compliance and Enforcement Investigations regarding, Consumer Protection, Film Classification, Financial Institutions, Securities/Markets, Gaming Enforcement, Liquor, Tobacco Tax, General Revenue, Conservation Officer Service, Natural Resource Operations, Intersection Safety Cameras, Security Programs, SPCA, and the Federal Competition Bureau; Protection and Risk Services for the Legislature, Government and Courts. The following Memorandum of Understanding with the Independent Investigations Office list all the SPC Agencies in British Columbia.
  • Independent Investigations Officer - The IIO is to conduct investigations into incidents where a police officer (regular, or special constable, on or off-duty) may have caused death or serious harm and determine whether or not an officer may have committed an offence. They are a designated police agency under the BC Police Act.[14]

Municipal police

Bylaw Officers

Most, if not all, major municipalities in British Columbia employ bylaw officers for the enforcement of civic laws. These officers are peace officers when on duty, and have the appropriate obligations and powers of arrest.

Aboriginal police

  • Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police Service (STPS) - The STPS was created in 1992. It operated as a pilot project for the next several years, with its officers sworn in as special constables. In 1999, it became a fully empowered police agency responsible for ten participating Stl'atl'imx communities. It operates out of the Lillooet Detachment and the Mount Currie Detachment.[15]

Historical agencies

  • British Columbia Provincial Police (BCPP) This was the provincial police force of BC from 1871 until 1950, when it was absorbed into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Its predecessor was the Colonial Constabulary.
  • Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia (OCABC) Established as an independent law enforcement agency in 1999, the mandate of the OCABC is to “facilitate the disruption and suppression of organized crime” which has since become the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia.[16]
  • Ports Canada Police - The Ports Police were disbanded in 1998. Their employers were the Canada Ports Corporation, phased out in 1998 with the creation of the Canada Marine Act.
  • Matsqui Police Department Founded in 1955. On January 1, 1995, the municipalities of Matsqui and Abbotsford amalgamated to be called the City of Abbotsford and the name of the Department changed to the Abbotsford Police Department.[17]
  • Mission City Police - Little information is available. MCP had their own distinct shoulder patch and *may* have been under the direction of the BCPP before being taken over by the RCMP.
  • Esquimalt Police Department - In 2003, the Esquimalt Police Department amalgamated with the Victoria Police Department, and today Victoria Police serves both communities.[18]
  • BC Rail Police - Railway police for the provincial crown corporation of the British Columbia Railway. BC Rail operations were sold to Canadian National in 2004. (See CN Police above)
  • British Columbia Highways Patrol - The Department of Highways Traffic Patrol was formed in 1958 and consisted of three NCO's and 33 Patrolmen (with an additional 26 Patrolmen added in the summer months and assigned to the Ferry Terminals in BC). Highway Patrol was responsible for traffic control at five major ferry terminals in BC (Tswwassen, Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Departure Bay and Langdale), the First Narrows Bridge (Lion's Gate Bridge), Second Narrows Bridge, Oak Street Bridge, George Massey Tunnel and the Port Mann Bridge and all approaches to these facilities. Highway Patrolmen were also sworn in as reserve constables for the Vancouver City Police, West Vancouver Police and RCMP. Highway Patrolmen had to deal with stalled vehicles, traffic violations, collisions, impaired drivers, stolen vehicles, suicides and attempted suicides as well as drugs, firearms, assaults and escaped prisoners. The BC Highways Patrol officers were not armed, utilized white and orange patrol vehicles and motorcycles with Red (only) lights and were uniformed in the then defunct British Columbia Provincial Police uniforms. Prior to 1958, the British Columbia Toll Highways and Bridges Authority superseded the formation of the BC Highways Patrol and had a uniformed and mobile enforcement presence to deal with tolls, collisions and traffic control in the Lower Mainland of BC tolled facilities. The BC Highway Patrol existed until 1988 when its officers and equipment then merged with what is now known as British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (BCCVSE) to compliment as additional mobile or portable commercial vehicle inspection and enforcement peace officers.
  • Photos and article on the BC Highway Patrol from 1975 (Page 5);
  • Photos and article on a Highway Patrolman crica 1958-1965 (Page 32);
  • Highway Patrol Photos and the first Highway Patrolperson (1980) (Pages 29 – 31) Page 29-31.

See also


  1. RCMP in BC, official website of RCMP “E” Division. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  2. "CP Police Service". Canadian Pacific. Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  3. "CN Police Service". Canadian National. Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  4. "Fishery Officer Career Information". DFO-MPO. Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  5. "Jobs at Parks Canada". Parks Canada. Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  6. "Canada's newest environment officers set to help turn the country green". Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  7. "Military Police". Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  8. "About CFSEU-BC". Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  9. "Description of Policing in BC". Government of B.C. Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  10. Conservation Officer Service official website. Retrieved 24 April 2007.
  11. Sheriffs of British Columbia, unofficial website. Retrieved 24 April 2007.
  12. "Key Facts" Updated January 9, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  13. "Commercial Vehicle Safety & Enforcement" official website. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  14. "IIOBC Mandate". Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  15. Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police Service official website. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
  16. OCABC official website
  17. "AbbyPD History". Abbotsford Police Department. Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  18. "History". Victoria Police. Retrieved 2015-05-19.