Based on file archives, the organization responsible for policing services in the city of Kingston has been assigned several monikers, including the Kingston City Police Department, the City of Kingston Police Force, and the Kingston Police Force. In the early 1990s “force” was replaced by “service” in many police agencies. The Kingston Police Services Board opted for a different strategy: by Resolution 94-29, passed on April 21, 1994, it decreed that Kingston’s police force shall be known as the Kingston Police.
Crests and badges for the city’s police force also changed over the years, although surviving samples indicate a consistent connection to the city’s regalia. As part of preparations to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Kingston Police in 2016, the Kingston Police Services Board passed Resolution 15-9 on February 19, 2015, authorizing the Kingston Police to contact the Canadian Heraldic Authority and express the desire to receive armorial bearings from the Canadian Crown under the powers exercised by the Governor General. On April 15, 2016, the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada (Volume VI, Page 600) recorded armorial bearings for the Kingston Police. The designs for the armorial bearings were also published in the Trade-marks Journal of October 5, 2016 (Volume 63, No. 3232).
The armorial bearings for the Kingston Police reflect the rich history of Kingston’s police force. The artwork for the badge, which includes the shield of the arms of the city of Kingston in the centre, follows the traditional structure of municipal police badges. The Royal Crown symbolizes the fact that the department assists in the administration of the Crown’s justice, while the maple leaves and trillium flower are references to Canada and to Ontario. The ancient crowns and maple leaves in each corner of the flag symbolize that the force was established in the same year of 1841 that the city of Kingston was named as the capital of the Province of Canada.
The armorial bearings were officially acknowledged by the Kingston Police Services Board at its meeting of July 21, 2016, and presented to the community during the Kingston Police 175th Anniversary celebration held on December 20, 2016, at Memorial Hall in Kingston City Hall. It was most fitting that this grant of armorial bearings and other 2016 accomplishments were commemorated at City Hall in the 175th anniversary year of Kingston’s declaration as the first capital of the Province of Canada and in the room in which Canada’s very first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, was laid in state prior to his funeral 125 years earlier.
The original dedication of Kingston’s police force was to the “preservation of good order and the public morals therein.” That mandate is still a priority, but there are increasing demands on today’s police services, since they are available 24/7, to be the keepers of the social safety net, from preventing victimization to helping those with mental illness. The men and women, sworn and civilian, who have chosen to dedicate themselves to this organization and its core values—
Respect Integrity Professionalism Partnership Leadership Excellence
—provide an integral service to the Kingston community. From its modest beginnings of five men, Kingston’s police force has been true to its purpose to promote safety and protect quality of life for everyone in Kingston, and that mission remains unchanged.