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Cobourg Police Service

Cobourg Police Service
MottoLex Praesidium Libertatis (The Law of the Protection of Liberty)
Agency overview
Employees118 (41 police officers)
Volunteers11 (2021)[2]
Annual budget$6,473,290 (2021)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionCobourg, Ontario, Canada
Size22.41 sq km[3]
Population20 519[3]
Governing bodyCobourg Police Services Board
Constituting instrument
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters107 King Street West, Cobourg, Ontario
Sworn members41
Non-sworn members67
Elected officer responsible
Agency executives
  • V13 Policetech Accelerator

The Cobourg Police Service (CPS) is a municipal police force in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. As of 2021, the service employed 35 police officers, 28 special constables, and 11 auxiliary constables.[2] The force is notable for its tiered police service delivery model, which it adopted in 2018,[4] and the V13 Policetech Accelerator, which it operates alongside the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation.[2] The Accelerator facilitates research and development partnerships between small or starting businesses and the CPS.[5]

The service is the largest provider of third-party criminal records checks in Canada.[6] Revenue generated from the checks funds the force's Corporate Services division, which performs the records checks; capital investments in the police service; and local social services.[7]


Victoria Hall in downtown Cobourg, out of which the Cobourg Police Service operated between 1898 and 1971. The Hall is also home to the Town of Cobourg, Northumberland County Art Gallery, and the Cobourg Concert Hall.

The Town of Cobourg was incorporated out of Hamilton Township in 1837,[1] and a single-officer police force operating out of Victoria Hall had been established by 1898.[8]

In 1915, Constable William Rourke suffered a fatal heart attack during a violent arrest.[9] He had been employed by the force for 22 years.

In 1970, the Canadian Armed Forces determined that the Cobourg Armoury building — a two-storey brick structure that had been built in 1904 a few blocks west of Victoria Hall — was surplus, and turned the structure over to the Town of Cobourg.[10] The building was subsequently turned over to the police force in 1971.[8]

In the early 2000s, various politicians, the Cobourg and Port Hope Police Associations, and the Cobourg Police Services Board advocated for or endorsed studies of the amalgamation of the Cobourg Police Service and neighbouring Port Hope Police Service.[11][12] In 2003, the Cobourg Police Services Board hired Garry Clement, a former RCMP officer, as the Cobourg Police Service's new chief of police, with a mandate to amalgamate the two police forces into one service covering all of West Northumberland, including the Town of Cobourg, Municipality of Port Hope, and Township of Hamilton.[13] Port Hope ultimately elected to maintain its independent police service, and as of 2022, both municipalities continue to maintain individual police forces.

In 2004, 18-year old Troy Davey called Cobourg Police claiming to have been the victim of a robbery. While being interviewed by Constable Chris Garrett, Davey pulled out a knife and fatally wounded the lone officer, who managed to shoot Davey in the leg before collapsing.[14] Davey was arrested at the Northumberland Hills Hospital shortly thereafter, where he had sought medical attention for his gunshot wound. It was later determined that Davey had made a hoax call with the intent of ambushing responding police officers with a knife and bomb, and he was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2007.[15]

In 2018, the Service, Northumberland County OPP, and Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) established a shared mental health crisis response team which partnered specially-trained OPP and CPS officers with NHH nurses, operating 5 days a week.[16]

The current Cobourg Police Service headquarters.

During the summer of 2022, the Cobourg Police Service provided parking enforcement under contract to neighbouring Hamilton Township.[17] The service was provided by the force's special constables, and was repeated over the summer of 2023.[18]

Police chiefs

Chief Tenure
Edwin Cooney 1860-1872
William Rankin 1872-1898
John C Ruse 1898-1936
William J Carey 1936-1950
Harold Pearce 1950-1970
Eugene Butler 1970-1982
Daniel K McDougal 1982-1996
John Kay 1996-2002
Kyle Foster (Acting) 2002-2003
Gerry W Clement 2003-2007
Paul Sweet 2007-2012
Kai Liu 2012-2019
Paul VandeGraff 2019–Present


Police services board

Like all municipalities in Ontario, the Town of Cobourg maintains a police services board, responsible for overseeing the police service.[19] The board approves the police budget, hires the chief and deputy chiefs of police directly, and is the legal employer of every Cobourg Police employee.[19] Although the board sets overall service policy and direction, it has no operational control over the service or its officers, and day-to-day policing decisions are the exclusive jurisdiction of the police chief.

The board is composed of five members: the mayor (or their designate); one town councillor; one member of the public appointed by town council; and two members of the public appointed by the province.[19] As of 2023, it consists of:

Name Position Appointed by
Ronald Kerr Chair Province
Dean Pepper Vice-chair Cobourg Town Council
Nicole Beatty Deputy Mayor ex officio
Sean Graham Member Province
Adam Bureau Councillor Cobourg Town Council


Sworn officers

Rank Commanding officers Senior officers Police officers
Chief of police Deputy chief of police Inspector Staff sergeant Sergeant Constable
Insignia (shoulder board)
Shoulder boards are not used for these ranks.
Uniform Navy blue or white dress shirt, black tie, black trouser piping, a decorative chest badge, and a peaked cap. Navy blue or white dress shirt, black tie, black trouser piping, a decorative chest badge, and a peaked cap. Navy blue or white dress shirt, black tie, black trouser piping, and a peaked cap. Navy blue or white dress shirt, black tie, black trouser piping, and a peaked cap. Navy blue dress shirt, red trouser piping, and a peaked cap or ballcap. Navy blue dress shirt, red trouser piping, and a peaked cap or ballcap.

Investigative staff

Investigative staff fall into two categories, sworn and non-sworn. Sworn investigators hold the ranks of Detective Constable or Detective Sergeant, ranks that are equivalent to Sergeant or Staff Sergeant, respectively.[20] Non-sworn investigators are special constables employed for crime-scene processing and forensic identification services, and are referred to either as scene-of-crime officers (SOCO) or forensic identification specialists.[21]

Special constables

Cobourg Police special constables are divided into two ranks, special constable and special constable supervisor, and wear baby blue dress shirts, navy blue trousers with no trouser piping, and peaked caps with red bands or ballcaps. Rank slides are identical to those of sworn constables, but are marked with "Special Constable" or "Special Constable Supervisor" lettering above the Canadian flag.

Auxiliary constables

Two members of the Cobourg Police Auxiliary pose in the Armouries Building.

Auxiliary constables are supervised by sworn police managers, and do not have an internal rank structure. Auxiliary constables wear baby blue dress shirts, navy blue trousers with no trouser piping, and peaked caps with checkered red bands or ballcaps. Rank slides are identical to those of sworn constables, but are marked with "Auxiliary" lettering above the Canadian flag.

Specialized units

A Smart Car assigned to the Community Services unit.

Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB)

Forensic Identification Services (FIS)

Human Trafficking Unit

Drugs and Intelligence

Major Cases

Bail/Court Compliance

Mental Health Response

Court Services




  1. ^ a b 1878 Illustrated Historical Atlas of Durham and Northumberland Counties of Ontario. Toronto: H. Belden & Co. 1878. cited in "Historical Facts, 1878: Cobourg". Archived from the original on 3 September 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "Cobourg Police Annual Report - 2021" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  3. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population: Cobourg, Town". Statistics Canada. 9 February 2022. Retrieved Feb 9, 2022.
  4. ^ John Draper (23 March 2018). "Cobourg Police Announce Tiered Policing". Cobourg News Blog. Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  5. ^ "V13 Policetech Accelerator". Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation. Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  6. ^ "Civilian Members: Corporate Services". Cobourg Police Service. Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  7. ^ "Cobourg Police Annual Report - 2020" (PDF). Cobourg Police Service. Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  8. ^ a b "Our History". Cobourg Police Service. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  9. ^ "William Rourke". Cobourg Police Service. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  10. ^ "Abandoned Armouries: Ontario". Bruce Forsyth. Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  11. ^ "Delanty wants second term as Cobourg mayor". Northumberland News. 2003-06-17. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
  12. ^ "One police service still a possibility". Northumberland News. 2002-08-02. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
  13. ^ "New chief anxious to start". Northumberland News. 2003-05-02. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
  14. ^ "Cobourg community marks 15 years since murder of police Const. Chris Garrett". Global News. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  15. ^ "Breaking News – Cold Blooded Cop Killers Chance for Faint Hope Clause Turned Down". Today's Northumberland. 11 July 2020. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  16. ^ "Mobile mental-health initiative to roll out across Northumberland County this spring". Global News. 2018-04-08. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  17. ^ "Cobourg Police Providing Parking By-Law Coverage Over the Summer on Weekends in Hamilton Township". Today's Northumberland. 25 July 2022. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  18. ^ "Cobourg police helping with parking bylaw enforcement in Township of Hamilton". Northumberland News. 31 May 2023. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  19. ^ a b c "Police Services Board". Cobourg Police Service.
  20. ^ "Police Services Act O. Reg. 268/10, s. 8". 24 July 2014.
  21. ^ "Special Constables". Cobourg Police Service. Retrieved 2022-08-20.

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Cobourg Police Service
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