Policing the Wild North-West

A Sociological Study of the Provincial Police in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 1905-32

By (author) Zhiqiu Lin
Categories: Social Science
Publisher: University of Calgary Press
Paperback : 9781552381717, 244 pages, May 2007

Table of contents


Chapter 1: The Creation of the Provincial Police in Alberta and Saskatchewan
Chapter 2: The Organizational Structures and Operation of the Provincial Police in Alberta and Saskatchewan
Chapter 3: The Shift in the Objects of Police Control in the Prairie Provinces
Chapter 4: Provincial Police Activities in Controlling the "Dangerous Classes" and Serious Crime
Chapter 5: The Police Enforcement of Prohibition Laws, 1917-24
Conclusion: The Return of the RCMP

Appendix A: Interrupted Time-Series Analysis of the Arrest Rates in Public Order Offences
Appendix B: Time Series Regression Methods: Co-Integration and Error-Correction Models
Appendix C: Modelling the Relationship Between Crime Rates and Police Strength
Appendix D: Statistical Examinations of the Relationship Between Immigration and Crimes


In Policing the Wild North-West, the first comprehensive social history of provincial police in western Canada between 1905 and 1932, Zhiqiu Lin investigates the complex relationship between the role of policing, the political sphere, and social progress.

This book attempts to analyze the effects on provincial police in Alberta and Saskatchewan of various social phenomena ranging from political radicals and vagrants to prohibition bootleggers and black market profiteers. These factors placed enormous demands on the development of policing and had a significant impact on three specific and interrelated areas: first, the professionalization of police organizations within society, as evidenced by changes in policing technology, varying political agendas, and, perhaps most importantly, within the police organizations themselves; second, the shifting of focus away from the "dangerous classes" and social agitators towards investigative procedures required for solving serious crime; and finally, the impact of policing on the rates of crime as influenced by the role of police officers as agents of social change and the value of social service in strengthening community and reducing the motivation towards criminal activity.

The book concludes with an examination of the transition between federal and provincial responsibilities for policing in the two provinces, the reasons for the disbandment of the provincial police forces, and the broader issues of police development and the rationalization of policing in modern society.


Lin chronicles . . . important sociological trends on the prairies during the early period of full provincial status.

?Andrew R. Graybill, Great Plains Research