The Patrol Division is under the command of the Deputy Chief of Police, who reports directly to the Chief of Police. The division consists of twenty-four sworn officers, four part-time jail guards, and eight crosswalk guards.
Patrol members are divided into four platoons, which are led by a Sergeant in charge. There are also two police dog handlers in the Canine Section who are part of the Patrol Division. These twenty-four patrol officers provide the City of Miramichi with twenty-four hour police service.
Most of the patrol constables are police generalists. The police generalist is the first responder in calls for service such as disputes, intrusion alarms, complaints that initiate investigation, enforcement, and arrests. Police generalists liaise with community service groups, businesses, schools, and seniors in fulfilling their role as community police constables. They are also first responders to medical calls.
Most of the patrolling is done in a vehicle due to the required coverage and response time. Other community needs are addressed with a bicycle program, foot patrols throughout the year, and snowmobile and all terrain vehicle patrols of trails within the city limits.
Some members of the Patrol Division provide specialized services such as traffic duties and accident investigations and reconstruction. Constables assigned to these duties provide enforcement and accident investigation and accident reconstruction duties as required.
An accident reconstructionist is responsible for conducting technical traffic collision investigations and analysis, as well as technical and mechanical examinations of vehicles that have been involved in traffic accidents. This officer offers advice and interprets traffic collision investigations, and provides expert testimony in court. This service is provided on a cost recovery basis to other law enforcement agencies. There are specially trained “scenes of crime officers” to assist investigators with the initial stages of a crime.
The Auxiliary Program of Miramichi Police Force was developed in accordance with the NB Policing Standard 5.3 which requires the Chief of Police to have a written policy establishing and describing the Police Service’s Auxiliary Program. This policy is to include a description of the duties, power, and legal authority of axillaries.
The Auxiliary members have received extensive training for the duties identified in the Police Service’s written policies. Auxiliary members wear uniforms that are distinguishable from those of regular sworn officers. Auxiliary members work with regular members and have all power and authority of a police officer when working.
Patrol Division Vehicles
The Miramichi Police Force came into being in 1995 after the Towns of Chatham and Newcastle combined with the villages of Loggieville, Nelson, and Douglastown to create the boundaries of the City of Miramichi.
The Miramichi Police Force combines officers from the Town of Newcastle with the Town of Chatham and hired additional officers to come to a combines strength of 42 officers. Although the police force began on January 1st, 1995, these MPF officers did not police the entire City until mid year.
The task of acquiring new uniforms and a new fleet of vehicles was priority for our new police force. Supt. John Foran and Sgt. Bob Bruce were assigned the task of acquiring and equipping a fleet of vehicles for the MPF. To this day, Sgt. Bruce is the fleet coordinator for the police force.
When the MPF began, officers drove marked Town of Newcastle vehicles, marked Town of Chatham vehicles, marked Village of Blackville vehicles and unmarked vehicles. It was not until January of 1996 that all MPF vehicles bore the same markings. The original fleet of 10 marked vehicles were all white with a full-length green, blue and gold stripe with lettering stating “Miramichi Police”. This graphic design stayed in place until 2002 when it was updated to a slightly more modern design using the same color combination. As the Miramichi Police Force is always striving to be its best, and with the current trend for Canadian Police Forces, in 2009 we began switching our vehicles to black and whites with more reflective material for officer safety.
The MPF must be doing something right as we have won vehicle design award contests four times since 2005. In 2005 we won an aware from “Blue Line”, Canada’s National Police Magazine for having the best-dressed police vehicle while promoting recognition and safety. We won a similar award in 2006 from the “Law & Order” magazine for having the best rear view design. In 2010 MPF won another “Blue Line” aware for having the best-dressed promotional vehicle and this year, 2012, MPF won the best-dressed police vehicle while promoting recognition and award again in “Blue Line” magazine.
Not only do MPF vehicles look good, but we also strive to have them equipped with the most current equipment, which is required for officer use and for officer award. Each patrol vehicle is equipped with a combination of strobe and LED lighting, officer/prisoner protection equipment and other emergency vehicle components. All patrol vehicles are equipped with speed RADAR measuring devices and with a DVD camera system which records video to the front and rear of the cruiser, and three are equipped with spike belts which are used for emergency vehicle stops. In addition to this, all cruisers are equipped with first aid kits and fire extinguishers. Officers also carry defibrillators with them in their cruisers for use at medical emergencies.
Although the City of Miramichi is only 29kms long at its longest point and 10 kms wide at its widest point, members of the MPF drove 734,600 kms of patrolling last year. Driving this many kilometers requires that the MPF have a very effective maintenance program. Each 5000kms, each MPF vehicle is subjected to a full safety inspection. This practice ensures that MPF vehicles are fit for the road and are ready for any emergency use.