During the 1980s, the Durham Regional Police Service shaped its legacy with initiatives that underscored a commitment to community safety and technological advancement. The inception of the DRPS Children's Games, an annual event catering to physically disabled children, stands as a testament to dedication to inclusivity. Now on the cusp of its 40th anniversary, the event symbolizes a steadfast tradition that has touched the lives of countless young participants.
Concurrently, the 80s witnessed a transformative leap in policing technology with the implementation of automated police records, streamlining information management and enhancing efficiency. The DRPS also witnessed a notable evolution in its fleet, introducing key additions such as the mobile command post, motorcycles, a tactical van, and an armored rescue vehicle, fortifying its capabilities for diverse operational needs.
Furthermore, the formation of specialized units, including the Tactical Unit, Sexual Assault Unit, and Victims of Crime Unit, underscored the DRPS’ commitment to addressing multifaceted challenges with specialized expertise. This pivotal era laid the foundation for the modernized and community-centric approach that defines the Durham Regional Police Service today.
  • Chief David Edwards was the police chief until 1993.
  • The closed flap holsters that officers were using were proven unsafe following the deaths of several Metro Toronto Policemen.
  • A report was presented to the Solicitor General in May 1981 recommending police adopt new gun holsters.
  • In 1982 Superintendent Dave Fleming took two Suzuki motorcycles out of storage and created a Motorcycle Unit.
  • In 1983 the DRPS recognized the need to automate their Police records. It was believed a computer system connected to all Police Divisions would allow for the storage and automatic retrieval of all incident reports.
  • In 1984, the Rogers Boss gun holster were phased in.
  • In 1984 the service purchased two Harley Davision motorcycles and the Suzuki’s were disposed of.
  • The Victims of Crime Unit was formed. The VOC unit would accompany victims to court, explain police or court procedures or act as a liaison between the victim, police and crown attorneys.
  • The Tactical Support Unit (TSU) was created in 1984.
  • In 1985 Chief Jenkins proposed an idea to hold an annual event for physically disabled children in Durham Region. An event which still takes place today.
  • Crime Stoppers was incepted in 1986. Crime Stoppers has been directly responsible in solving a wide spectrum of serious crime throughout our region.
  • In September 1986 an automated Records Management System (RMS) was launched throughout the Police Service that included approximately 50 data terminals connected from all Police Divisions to the mainframe computer in Oshawa.
  • 1987, mobile command post was purchased, a joint venture between Durham Regional Police and Ontario Hydro. The vehicle’s intended use was as an emergency communications station for all regional emergencies and by Ontario Hydro in the event of a nuclear disaster. It would also be used as a command post when an incident required numerous officers or units to be at a scene.
  • The Mobile Command Unit was custom designed and hand built in Oshawa with a value of $95,000.00.
  • In 1988 auto manufactures would no longer use the yellow paint on the police vehicles as it contained a high amount of lead.
  • White cars were chosen ornamented with the red and blue. The yellow cars were phased out over the next few years.
  • In 1988 the Sexual Assault Unit, originally known as the Morality Unit was formed.
  • In 1989, TSU received a new Chevolet tactical van equipped with cabinets and shelves so all the equipment could be permanently stored in the vehicle. The unit also received a restored Brink’s armoured truck, which was to be used as the unit’s Armored Rescue Vehicle (ARV). This vehicle was nicknamed “Big Bird” because of its bright yellow colour and the wing like armour plates attached to the front grill area.