As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday in 2017, the Edmonton Police Service is also celebrating a major milestone.
The police force will turn 125 years old this year and to mark the occasion, a number of events and activities have been planned to honour its history in Edmonton.
A commemorative logo was unveiled Thursday to mark the anniversary and features two constables, one representing the past and the other the future, as well as a silver maple leaf connecting the force to its Canadian heritage.
“It’s my distinct privilege to help kick off this milestone year for the Edmonton Police Service,” Chief Rod Knecht said. “I encourage all Edmontonians to join us in commemorating our shared history and the strong community spirit that has kept this city safe and growing for well over a century.”
It was on June 20, 1892 that then-mayor Matthew McCauley brought forward a bylaw that allowed Edmonton to appoint town constables to keep the peace. Back then, the service was called the Edmonton Police Department.
In the first decade, the EPD consisted of two constables, a bicycle and two whistles. Over the next 10 years, the department expanded to include a chief constable, inspector, two captains, five detectives, six sergeants and 52 constables.
The department was renamed the Edmonton Police Service in 1989.
To mark the major milestone, a celebration is planned for June 20, 2017 at City Hall. The High Level Bridge will also be lit up in EPS colours.
As a play on throwback Thursday, the EPS will share historic photos and news each week on the service’s social media pages. A commemorative comic book will be released, 125 trees will be planted on Arbor Day – May 5 and a summer picnic on Aug. 20 are a few other ways the EPS will mark its 125th anniversary. On March 7, the Edmonton Oilers will also pay tribute to the EPS with a special ceremony ahead of the game at Rogers Place.
EPS detective and artist Ken Bruns has created a print that illustrates the historical aspects of the police service. The print, which showcases officers, badges and several modes of transportation used by police in the past and present.
The print will be on display at EPS stations throughout the city and available through the artist via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year the EPS began collecting artifacts in hopes of gathering as many items and stories as possible ahead of this year’s big anniversary. Anyone who has items or stories to share is asked to contact the EPS 125th anniversary organizing committee via email at EPS125@edmontonpolice.ca.
Gallery below: Throwback pictures of the Edmonton Police Service