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Origins of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service: The Early Years

Sault Ste. Marie was incorporated as a municipality in 1871. That is the same year a municipally led police presence came into existence. Two men, Francis J. Hughes 1856-1868 and Andrew Hynes 1868-1871, served in the position of Chief Constable prior to the incorporation of the municipality. In those years policing was controlled through the courts.

In the early years, Sault Ste. Marie grew slowly and only one or two constables were needed to keep the peace. Policing was generally a part-time occupation, and constables tended to leave and come back to the job. In those years, there was one task the town constable had to perform without fail. It was the constable’s duty to light the six coal-oil lamps along Queen Street, and blow them out each morning. That responsibility would end around 1888 when a steam plant was established to generate electricity.