The Coat of Arms of Dominica

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The police force in Dominica began on the 9th of May 1840 as a result of an act enabling justices in the districts to appoint rural constables.
By 1856 Dominica had 12 police men who were under the command of police magistrate, Mr. Edward Lockhart. At that juncture the modern police force in Dominica was well on its way.

Over the next sixty-six years the police force expanded and Dominica became a presidency of the colony of the Leeward Islands.

In 1907 a single police force to serve all the Leeward Islands with headquarters in St. John’s, Antigua was established. The police in each island were under the command of a superintendent. Police recruits were drawn from all colonies of the British West Indies. However, many of the police serving in Dominica came from the Leeward Islands.
In 1940 Dominica was transferred to the membership of the Windward Islands colony with headquarters in St. George’s, Grenada.
The 1960’s saw further changes. In that very year women police were appointed. Each island was put in control of its police force with a chief of police of British origin.
In recognition of her majesty, Queen Elizabeth’s first visit to Dominica in 1966 and the attainment of associated statehood.
In 1967, the police force was granted a royal character permitting “royal” to be added to its title. It thus became known as the royal Dominica police force. The head of the police force was also renamed ‘commissioner”. The last British police chief to head the Dominica police force was James Mulligan.
On becoming an independent republic in 1978, the title royal was replaced by “commonwealth”, hence the commonwealth of Dominica police force.
In the 1980’s a special para military unit was set up within the force to deal with matters of national security, disaster mitigation among others.
The 1983 Grenada intervention saw members of this unit working alongside Caribbean colleagues in restoring normalcy to that island.

Police cooperation at a regional level has taken a great leap forward.

The commonwealth of Dominica police force is 162 years old.

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