Ontario Government Agency History (BA72)
The Ontario Provincial Police force was established by Order In Council on October 13, 1909, and attached to the Department of the Attorney General. At the time of its creation, the force comprised approximately forty-five or fifty men, many of whom had previously been appointed as Provincial Constables.
The force was first divided into four divisions. These were the Southern Division, with headquarters at Niagara Falls; the Northern Division with headquarters at Cobalt; the Central Division at Sudbury; and the Western Division at Kenora, which shortly after 1910 moved to Fort William.
The force was reorganized several times during the early part of its existence and by 1922, the Province was divided into nine numbered Districts, with headquarters at Windsor, Niagara Falls, Kitchener, Toronto, Belleville, Ottawa, Cobalt, Sudbury, and Port Arthur, each under the command of a District Inspector. In July, 1922, authorization was made for Sergeants, with one being appointed in each District. By the end of 1922 the force stood at approximately 195 men.
The patrol of the various highways of the Province was brought under the control of the OPP in 1930, with the transfer of the various patrol units from the Department of Highways. The number of districts was also increased to twelve at this time.
A new Police Act was passed in the Ontario Legislature in 1946. This Act repealed all former legislation and statutes governing the force, and for the first time clearly specified the duties and responsibilities of the police.
In April, 1972, the Ontario Provincial Police force was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Solicitor General.
Over the years, the OPP has consisted of many different branches and divisions. Primary divisions have included the Staff Development Division, the Staff Services Division, the Field Division, the Traffic Division, the Investigations Division, and the Administrative Services Division.
Branches have included: the Stores Branch (later renamed the Transport and Supply Branch); the Special Investigations Branch; the Central Records Branch; the Training Branch; the Registration Branch; and the First Nations and Contract Policing Branch, among others.
In 1993, the Ministry of the Solicitor General was merged with the Ministry of Correctional Services to form the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services. The OPP was transferred to the new Ministry.
Order in Council (October 13, 1909)
The Constables Act, Statutes of Ontario 1910, Chap. 39
Police Act, Statutes of Ontario 1946, Chap. 72
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