History of the North Bay Police

What is now the City of North Bay was incorporated as a village in November 1882. On the meagre information available, it appears that one Wesley Coleman was the first policeman in North Bay. He apparently held that position from 1882 until 1890. He was not only a policeman, but also a tax collector, dog catcher, village foreman, and bailiff.

history05lOn 1890 01 01, North Bay was incorporated as a town and in 1925, as a City.

At the first meeting of council,held on 1890 01 19, Constable Daniel McIntyre succeeded Wesley Coleman as policeman, filling that position from 1890 until 1895 when he was replaced by Isaac Kinsella, who appears to have been the first Chief Constable of North Bay. Chief Kinsella held the position from 1895 until 1906. At this time, a second man, one Larry Brennan, was appointed night Constable. On the resignation of Chief Kinsella in 1906, the position was filled by by Chief Constable Mitchell, who held the position from 1906 to 1908.

history02-lOn the resignation of Chief Constable Mitchell, he was replaced by Chief Constable William Rayner from 1908 to 1922. On the retirement of Chief Rayner there appears to be a blank for several years, although there is a record of one Chief Morby. How long he remained Chief is not clear at the present time.

In 1925, when North Bay was incorporated as a City, the first Commission was appointed and it consisted of His Honour Judge Joseph Alphonse Valin, His Worship Magistrate Sylvanis Weegar, and His Worship Mayor John McDonald.

On 1925 10 23, William Clark was appointed Chief Constable and held that position until September 1943 when he died suddenly of a heart attack, In October 1943, Alvin Forsyth who had formerly been Chief Constable in Prescott, Ontario, was appointed to the position. When he resigned in June 1948, due to ill health, Deputy Chief of Police, John William Pilgrim was appointed Chief of Police. Chief Pilgrim had begun his career with the North Bay Police in August 1929, and had been promoted through the ranks. Chief Pilgrim went on sick leave in August 1965 and officially retired on 1966 06 30. On 1970 03 18, Chief Pilgrim died in Tempe, Arizona.

history01lIvan Ashton Thurlow, who was then Deputy Chief of Police, assumed command of the service on 1965 08 01 and remained in this position until his death on 1967 06 27. Chief Thurlow had been appointed to the North Bay Police as a constable on 1940 06 01 and had also been promoted up through the ranks.

Deputy Chief of Police William Wotherspoon, upon the death of Chief Thurlow, was appointed Chief of Police on 1967 06 24. Chief Wotherspoon had been appointed to the North Bay Police as a constable on 1947 03 28 and had been promoted through the ranks to Deputy Chief of Police before being promoted to Chief of Police. On 1968 01 01 when the Townships of Widdifield and West Ferris were annexed to the City of North Bay, Chief William Wotherspoon was appointed Chief of Police of the new amalgamated force.

history03lImmediately prior to the annexation, the Townships had their own police forces and the personnel were absorbed the personnel were absorbed into North Bay Police Force. The Chief of Police of the former Township of West Ferris was G.W. Regan and the Chief of Police of the Township of Widdifield was W.H. Mossip.

The Township of West Ferris Police Force had started as a one-man force in 1952 and the Township of Widdifield had started in 1958 as a four-man force.

Previous to annexation, the police force had approximately four square miles and 99 miles of streets to patrol. After the annexation, this area was increased to 128.9 square miles and 236.8 miles of street. The population of 23,000 before annexation increased to 48,964. On 1975 09 15, the North Bay Police Force moved into a new multi-million dollar building which contained the most up-to-date equipment in the country.