Our History
Take a closer look at the history of the Durham Regional Police Service with our detailed timeline. This timeline shares important events that have shaped this organization. From the beginning to now, it shows key moments, changes, and achievements, giving you a clear picture of how the Durham Regional Police Service has evolved and stayed dedicated to the residents of Durham Region. Dive into decades of service, seeing how DRPS has worked hard to keep the community safe and build trust. This timeline is more than just a history lesson; it's a way to appreciate the people who have played a big role in the success and strength of the Durham Regional Police Service.
  • The Durham Regional Police was formed, amalgamation of seven municipal police forces.
  • In July 1977 the Durham Regional Police Auxiliary Unit was formed.
  • The customary “one man” cars changed in 1976. As a part of the collective bargaining, the Police Association along with the Police Service initiated a mandate requiring zoned areas to have “two man” cruisers during certain hours of the day.
  • The Durham Regional Police Association (DRPA) was formed.
  • The Fraud Unit was created in 1974 and had one member.
  • Chief David Edwards was the police chief until 1993.
  • A report was presented to the Solicitor General in May 1981 recommending police adopt new gun holsters.
  • Crimestoppers was incepted in 1986. Crime Stoppers has been directly responsible in solving a wide spectrum of serious crime throughout our region.
  • The Tactical Support Unit (TSU) was created.
  • In 1989, TSU received a new Chevrolet tactical van equipped with cabinets and shelves so all the equipment could be permanently be 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.
  • Chief Trevor McCagherty was police chief until 1997.
  • 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 August 1993 the Police Learning Centre opened at Durham College.
  • The Durham Regional Police “Force” became the Durham Regional Police “Service”.
  • In 1997 Chief Kevin McAlpine was 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.”
  • In 1999 we had 769 sworn police and civilian staff.
  • Food and Toy Drive was started.
Discover 90s
  • In January 2024, Chief Moreira introduced two new deputies which brought his command team to a total of three.
  • Moved to new Regional Headquarters located at 605 Rossland Road East in Whitby.
  • The property bureau located at 19 Courtice Court burnt to the ground.
  • Youth in Policing initiative began.