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From Proud of Our Past, Confident of Our Future: A History of Policing in Toronto
Toronto Police Service, booklet

Well over one and a half centuries have passed since the muddy town of York was re-named Toronto in 1834. In that year, Mayor William Lyon Mackenzie headed a city with a population of just 9,000 people. That same year, the Toronto Police Force had its humble beginnings when the first full-time High Constable was appointed to lead a handful of volunteers.

There were no permanent officers. Constables were simply hired as needed. It wasn’t until a year later that five paid Constables were hired. Back then, the focus of police activity was on the business district of Yonge Street. One of the original police responsibilities? Catching shopkeepers who threw their garbage on the street.

Today, the Toronto Police Service employs over 5,000 officers and more than 2,000 civilian staff. We are one of the largest municipal police services in North America, responsible for policing a vibrant city of almost 2.5 million, and receiving over 1.7 million calls for service a year. The confidence we have in the future of our Service is due in a large part to the pride we have in our past.

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