In the dynamic landscape of the 1990s, DRPS underwent transformative changes that revolutionized our operational capabilities and enhanced public safety. The implementation of the 911 emergency telephone system marked a pivotal moment as it seamlessly connected fire, ambulance, and police services through a unified number.
The integration of Mobile Digital Terminals (MDT) into police cruisers ushered in a new era of high-speed digital communication between the Computer Automated Dispatcher (CAD) system and mobile police units. Notably, the shift from the term "Force" to "Service" reflected an evolving approach, emphasizing community engagement and collaboration.
The commitment to officer safety saw the introduction of Kevlar bulletproof vests. Furthermore, ground breaking initiatives such as airborne law enforcement, launched in partnership with York Regional Police on June 15th, 1999, positioned the Durham Regional Police as the second municipal police service in Canada to embrace aerial policing.
As part of our commitment to diverse capabilities, the establishment of a Motorized Snow Vehicle Unit and a Canine Unit further underscored the force's adaptability and dedication to serving the community.
  • In December 1990 amendments in the Police Services Act made it a requirement for each Police Service to have a Complaints Bureau to investigate all complaints against police made by the public, in which the Professional Standards Unit was formed.
  • In 1990 the DRPS created its Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU). This unit was formed to combat the growing drug trade within Durham Region. The DEU is an enforcement unit within the Intelligence Branch.
  • The CAP Squad was renamed and from 1990 to 1993 was officially known as the Major Crime Unit.
  • Police get rid the of the old .38 calibre Smith and Wesson revolvers and change to semi-automatic weapons.
  • Police services board voted unanimously to destroy 600 old revolvers.
  • In May 1991 we saw changes in the area of communications. The 911 telephone system was implemented. Fire, ambulance and police were now linked together by one number.
  • In 1991 police cruisers became equipped with Mobile Digital Terminals (MDT).
  • The MDT’s provided for high-speed digital communication between the Computer Automated Dispatcher (CAD) system and the mobile police units. Its purpose was to provide timely transmissions of dispatch data, location hazards, and other complaint or location information.
  • January 1, 1991 brought about the enactment of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This new Act was to provide a framework under which individuals were entitled, with some restrictions to access government held information. During the first year of insemination, slightly less than 50 requests were processed through FOI. In 1998 there was 320. In 2023 we are now at 1773 requests for the year.
  • In 1991 we saw the installations of a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to enhance both the communications and police officer connectivity. It also allowed for a greater performance for the emergency 9-1-1 telephone system.
  • The old Pickering station became cramped and inadequate and a new building was built and completed in May 1992 and referred to as the new “25 Division”.
  • The five-million-dollar project now housed 120 officers but could expand to accommodate up to 240.
  • In September 1992 the Ontario Ministry of Labour ordered the closing of the gun range at 17 Division, Oshawa. Testing revealed an inadequate ventilation system causing high levels of airborne lead which created health and safety issues.
  • In January 1992 the Media Relations and Labour Relations Units were established.
  • The Street Crime Unit was formed in 1992 and consisted of six Constables and one Sergeant. The unit was formed to address a growing problem with youth gangs and youth related violent crimes in the region’s schools and communities.
  • After supporting data was presented, the Lions Club supported the establishment of a Canine Unit with the Durham Regional Police with a donation of $22,000. The Canine Unit was included under Support Services with the Tactical Support Unit, Traffic Management, Dive Team and Explosive Disposal Unit. In September 1992, Peter Vanderduim, a seventeen-year veteran was selected as the handler for the unit.
  • In January 1993, Regulation 790 took effect mandating that each Police Service train members who may be called to use force with a member of the public. A course in Use of Force philosophy and practical training was implemented. Once a year officers would receive training in the areas of Firearms, Use of Force, Soft Hand Techniques, Hard Hand Techniques, Aerosols and batons.
  • In August 1993 the Police Learning Centre opened at Durham College.
  • In 1993 a provincial grant allowed for the purchase of six video systems that were installed in cruisers in each division. The video cameras had a wide-angle lens and were installed between the driver and passenger seat. The video tapes could then be used as evidence in court when required.
  • The Durham Regional Police “Force” became the Durham Regional Police “Service”.
  • Officers were being equipped with bullet proof vests made from Kevlar. The body amour contained ballistic panels in the front and the rear of the vest.
  • The Provincial Government endorsed the use of Pepper Spray by Police. Officers were trained in and issued Oleoresin Capsicum or “Pepper Spray” as a means of aid.
  • A gun battle and the murder of an OPP initiated concerns regarding the inadequacies of the .38 calibre revolver used by police services. The Ministry of Labour conducted a two-year investigation and determined the police issued revolver was no longer acceptable.
  • A new Act was developed by the Solicitor General’s office allowing officers to carry more powerful weapons.
  • Although they have been a part of the service’s fleet since 1977, a Motorized Snow Vehicle Unit was not established until 1993. Ten, 26 division officers and two auxiliary officers were trained and formed the 26 Division, Motorized Snow Vehicle Unit.
  • In 1993 and 1994 a Program Analysis Committee was implemented to study and research the restructure of the Criminal Investigation Branch to improve management and co-ordination, achieve greater operational effectiveness, and expand and enrich roles of all investigative personnel, including patrol officers. As a result, in 1994 the Major Crime Unit came into effect.
  • The Robbery Unit was created in 1993.
  • In July 1994, the Glock was chosen and in July the board approved the purchase of the .40 calibre weapon.
  • In October 1994, five people were shot during a bank robbery in Port Perry. Three of them were Police Officers. PC Warren Ellis, PC Mark McConkey and Det. Paul Mooy were all seriously injured while responding to the robbery at the Bank of Montreal. The bank manger had also been shot.
  • In September 1994 the Traffic Management Unit (TMU) was formed.
  • In 1994, the Durham Regional Police Service was reorganized and the Sexual Assault Unit became a sub-unit of the Major Crime Unit operating out of headquarters. At that time the unit consisted of seven members.
  • In August 1995 the Solicitor General announced changes in the Police Services Act. The full metal jacket bullets that police in Ontario customarily used were being replaced with hollow point bullets. The new ammunition was destructed to all service members shortly after the order was received.
  • The grand opening of the Kid’s Safety Village took place in September 1995 after its daily operation became the responsibility of the Durham Regional Police.
  • In 1995 the DRPS acquired an Automated Fingerprint Identification System. This system connected directly to the Toronto base which service York Region, Niagara Region, Ottawa-Carlton Region and Toronto with direct link to the Central RCMP database. Fingerprints from crime scenes could be compared to fingerprints in the database indicating possible criminal activity by a suspect in other jurisdictions.
  • In 1996 the unit expanded to five teams giving 24 hour per day coverage.
  • In 1996 the Street Crime Unit in cooperation with the Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto Police organized and hosted the first International Hate/Bias Crime Symposium at Durham College.
  • Chief Trevor McCagherty was the police chief until 1997.
  • In 1997 Chief Kevin McAlpine was the police chief until 2005.
  • Under Chief McAlpine the service had adopted a statement of values. “Every member of the Durham Regional Police Service is committed to providing quality service in partnership with our communities. We will achieve excellence through pride, respect, understanding, and ethical behaviour while learning from each other.”
  • VICLAS (Violent Crimes Linkage Analysis Systems) is a national police database used to link serial offenders to their crimes. The VICLAS system is designed to capture, collect, and compare violent crimes of a sexual and predatory nature utilizing analysis of victimology, suspect description, modus operandi, forensic and behavioral data. As a result of a report that was published by Justice Archie Campbell subsequent to the Paul Bernardo case, VICLAS became mandatory for all Ontario Police Services effective in February 1997.
  • In 1998 the Victims of Crime Unit became the Victim Services Unit.
  • In 1999 we had 769 sworn police and civilian staff.
  • On June 15th, 1999 the Durham Regional Police, in association with York Regional Police, became the second municipal police service in Canada to begin airborne law enforcement.