The Niagara Region Police Association is a labour organization, representing over 1000 uniform and civilian members who are the employees of the Niagara Regional Police Service. The NRPA has a long and proud tradition of community support and involvement within the Niagara Region.
"The NRPA will enhance public safety in Niagara through the professional representation of our members and community leadership."
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
I’m Patrick McGilly, the President of the NRPA. It is my honour to represent the civilian and uniform police personnel of the NRPA. These members proudly serve the Niagara community and work hard to keep you and your families safe. They are also part of the community. Not only do they work in Niagara but they live there as well. Their children go to school in Niagara and their extended families reside there as well. In addition to their policing duties, they are actively volunteering, coaching, participating and improving the Niagara community.
Giving back to the community is what motivated many of our members to join the NRPS. This desire to contribute led to the founding of the Niagara Region Police Association Charitable Fund. Making charitable donations to organizations in need is just one of the ways the NRPA is fulfilling its mission to enhance community leadership and be a partner in Niagara.
PART OF THE COMMUNITY
The Niagara Region Police Association started its own charitable fundraising back in the early 80’s. As a result, the Niagara Region Police Association Charitable Fund has donated on behalf of its members over $500,000 to various local charitable organizations over the past few years. The monies that we donate have been raised through community fund raising events such as the NRPA Chip it for Charity Golf tournament, Fielding Wine Foundation, Nevada ticket sales and member events.
HISTORY OF NRPA
Prior to 1969, separate and distinct police forces were established within the Niagara Region. Some of the municipal police forces had their own associations, with their own executive. On the political front, local government reform was beginning as early as 1963 and the Mayo report was recommending that the Niagara area be regionalized. The Regional Municipality of Niagara Act 1968-69 Statutes of Ontario, was enacted and provided that the members of the police forces of all the area municipalities would bargain solely with the newly created Board of Commissioners of Police.
One of the first challenges faced by the new organization was to co-ordinate all the wages and benefits. A review of the contract negotiated at that time shows that it was not an easy task.. First Class-Constables from Fort Erie, Grimsby, Town of Pelham, Port Colborne, Welland and St. Catharines were making anywhere from $9,027.00 to $9,500, but if you were working out of Niagara on the Lake or the Town of Lincoln you were paid between $8,000 to $8,400.
In 1969, the members of the municipal police forces banded together and created the Niagara Region Police Association. Its’ purpose was to act as a joint bargaining committee, representing all the former municipal police forces of the area.
By the time the Niagara Region Police Association negotiated its’ second contract in 1971, all First Class Constables were being paid $10,500 a year. Meal allowances were $3.00 a day and a four platoon, 28 day shift schedule was in effect. By 1971, the Association represented approximately 398 officers and 42 civilian employees.
In 1977, the Association purchased 27 acres of property in Fonthill which served as the Association office up until 1996. The office was then relocated to a leased location in St. Catharines, on Ontario Street. When the Association outgrew that facility we purchased some land and built a new Association office at our present location. The past years have been a time of critical growth for the Niagara Region Police Association. In order to meet the needs of an increasing number of members, the Association Executive have revised and increased services and the office staff that serve the members.
In 1997 the mandate of the Association was expanded once again when the Niagara Region Police Association received its official designation as a charitable organization and reconfirmed its’ commitment to participate in community projects and increase charitable giving within the community. As the Niagara Region Police Association looks towards the future, we want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and recognize those individuals who were among the founding members of the Association. .We have been able to build for the future on the strong foundation that was established by these members.
RETROSPECTIVE OF POLICING
In historical terms, the Niagara Regional Police Service is still considered to be quite young. The Service, itself only came into being in 1971. The proud tradition of policing in Niagara, however, dates back to 1850’s when the first police forces were formed and the Mayors and Councils were responsible for “keeping the peace”.
In 1856, the first full time police officers were hired for St. Catharines and when it became a city, in 1876, the police force consisted of a grand total of 13 men! The Niagara Falls police force, which was organized in 1919, actually had their own police car, something that was not seen in St. Catharines until 1924.
From the early 1920’s up until 1970, there were separate and unique municipal police forces throughout the Niagara region. Each one with a proud history and many stories to tell. With the advent of regional government, the Niagara Regional Board of Commissioners was established in January, 1970 and incorporated the former municipal police forces into a new Regional Force. At that time, the Niagara Regional Police Force was one of the ten largest in Ontario.
In October of 1977, the force took over the policing of the entire Niagara Region, protecting a number of municipalities that had been provided protection by the Ontario Provincial Police. In the early 1980’s the name was officially changed to the Niagara Regional Police Service. The Niagara Regional Police Service now protects an area that encompasses 1,863 square kilometers and a total of twelve municipalities. There are six districts and numerous units spread throughout the Region. The approximate 1,000 plus members of the Niagara Region Police Association are proud to serve and protect over 427,000 residents and the approximately 16,000,000 annual visitors to the region.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Each year ceremonies take place to pay tribute and honour those members of law enforcement agencies who have died in the line of duty. The ceremony at the Canadian Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial takes place each September in Ottawa. The Ontario Police Memorial, located adjacent to Queen’s Park in Toronto, was officially dedicated in 2000 and the ceremony takes place there, each May.
The Niagara Region Police Association remembers and honours members of our Service who have passed on while in active service to our Communities. This page is dedicated to those members.