Much More than Police

The Newfoundland Constabulary, 1871–1949

By (author) Terry Carlson
Edited by Sandy Newton
Categories: Business & Economics
Publisher: Flanker Press
Paperback : 9781774571569, 490 pages, December 2023


Terry Carlson’s thoroughly researched new history offers a detailed account of the activities and evolution of the Newfoundland Constabulary from 1871, when the force was founded, to 1949, when Newfoundland became the tenth province of Canada. It is a compelling portrait of the responsibilities and experiences of Constabulary members of all ranks in St. John’s, across the island, and on special assignments in Labrador—and, importantly, shows the influence on police operations of the tumultuous political, economic, and social conditions that prevailed during these years.

The Newfoundland Constabulary was formed and led by a series of inspectors—all profiled here—and each put their own stamp on the organization. Their work guided the rank and file who not only enforced the law on land and sea but provided health, welfare, and social services to the public—roles that extended well beyond those of traditional police work. Encompassing a detective division, a mounted unit, and the fire department in St. John’s, the Newfoundland Constabulary also kept the peace in outports such as Botwood, Brigus, and Bonavista and the industrial centres of Bell Island, Corner Brook, and Grand Falls. Few people today are aware of the breadth of the Constabulary’s contributions.

As in our own era, the Constabulary was forced to respond to ever-changing demands beyond even the vagaries of politics, including a massive fire in St. John’s, the Depression and two World Wars, the appearance of new technologies, and the advances and events of—even integration with—other contemporary law enforcement agencies.

Much More than Police collects this remarkable history in one place. It comprehensively documents the impressive challenges and achievements of the Constabulary during the relatively unknown pre-Confederation years, promoting a legacy of solid policing that deserves to be celebrated.