This page explains what records are available for researching members of:

  • the Dominion Police
  • Canadian Forces military police
  • provincial police forces
  • other police in Canada

On this page

Before you start

Gather as much information about the person such as:

  • their approximate year of birth
  • the name of the police force the person worked for
  • the location where they worked
  • their years of employment

Places to look

Library and Archives Canada has records of people who worked in policing.

Lower Canada and Quebec police records

  • Register of Sheriffs, Lower Canada, 1841-1873 (RG4-B26, volume 8)
  • Commission as Inspector of Police, City of Quebec, George Vanfelson, 1843 (RG4-B9, volume 3)
  • Commission as Commissioner of Police, Montreal, William Ermatinger, 1842 (RG4-B9, volume 11)
  • Commission, Inspector and Superintendent of Police, Montreal, Pierre Edouard Leclerc, 1838 (RG4-B9, volume 11)
  • Civil Secretary, police records — Lower Canada and Canada East Police Records, 1836-1847, 1852-1856 (RG4-B14, volumes 1 to 68)

Dominion Police, 1868-1920

The Dominion Police was created in 1868 to protect federal government buildings and dignitaries. Duties later included:

  • security
  • intelligence
  • the protection of Navy yards
  • the investigation of espionage, counterfeiting and other federal crimes

The Dominion Police became part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1920.

Only a few service files for the Dominion Police survived. You can search by name in our database North West Mounted Police (NWMP) - Personnel Records, 1873-1904.

If there is no service file for a person, their name may appear in these records:

  • Dominion Police fonds, Personnel records, 1883 to 1919 (RG18 E)
    • Defaulters books, 1883-1919. These registers contain references to officers on sick leave or leave of absence, those temporarily employed and records of punishments and offences, for example smoking on duty or disobeying orders. There is a name index at the start or end of each volume (volumes 3131 to 3140, microfilm reels C-13875 to C-13877).
    • Certificates of qualification, 1910-1919 (volume 3143, microfilm C-13877)
    • Attestation (enlistment) book, 1900-1909 (volume 3146, microfilm reel C-13877)
    • Pay ledger, 1914-1920 (volume 3147, not on microfilm and not digitized)

There is also a composite photo of individual members of the Dominion Police Force, 1909.

Access the records

Digitized records

If you find a record of interest, there may be a digital image. Some of these are available through Collection Search. Others, particularly digitized microfilms, are available through Héritage.

Records that are not digitized

For records that are not digitized, you will need to see them in person. If you cannot visit us in person, you may want to order copies or hire a researcher.

Related resources

Military police

Military police are members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The term "provost" also refers to military police.

Before 1917, members of the Canadian militia took care of military policing. The Canadian Military Police Corps was formed in 1917 and disbanded in 1920. The Canadian Provost Corps was formed in 1940. Police units within the different branches of the CAF joined to form the current Canadian Forces Military Police.

LAC has these service records for military police:

Most police forces in Canada operate at the municipal or provincial level. If the person worked for a particular police force, contact that organization about employment records. Older records may have been transferred to a municipal, regional or provincial archives, or to a local police museum.

When searching the internet and archival websites by keywords, keep in mind that some law enforcement agencies do not have the word “police” in their name. For example, the Sûreté du Québec and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.