Kawartha Lakes Public Library - Digital Collections
Looking Back: Police
, p. 30

Hooper, John, Author
Media Type:
Item Type:
Written: 15 July 1994
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
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Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Kawartha Lakes Public Library
WWW address
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190 Kent St W.
Lindsay, ON K9V 2Y6
(705) 324-5632

Full Text

If you picked up your 'phone several years ago and asked the operator for one - two- three do you recall who she would hook you up with? Well that was the number one called if they had to contact the Lindsay Police Department.

Back in those days Lindsay had a big, pleasant Irishman as our Chief of Police in the person of Ralph Lawyer. At that time the only car used for police work was that of the chief's and there sure was a great deal more legwork in those days than there is to-day - and fewer police officers to do the work.

Many readers will recall men like "Didds" Reeves, Jack Nesbitt, "Knocky" Thurston, Russ Hargrave, Jack Simnett, Art Watson (who later joined the OPP), John Hunter (who later became Lindsay's Chief of Police). The only OPP officer in the town was a fellow by the name of Morris Massingham and we used to marvel at the way Massingham handled a motorcycle which was his only means of travel during the summer months when he patrolled the highways around the Town of Lindsay.

Back in those days the COP (constable on patrol) would walk the beat on Kent St. and at night would check the front and rear doors of each and every business on Kent, William, Lindsay and Cambridge Sts. to ensure all doors were secure. Back in those days if the constable was on patrol at night he would keep an eye open to see if there was a red light "on" over the middle of Kent St. in front of the Police Station. This light was activated by the local telephone operator on duty and would signal him to call the telephone office for a message. The officer would get to the nearest 'phone, contact the telephone operator and act on the message she had for him. It could be anything from a robbery to an expectant mother needing help.

When I think back to those days and what the officers had to work with it's amazing how well they kept the town

so peaceful and quiet and certainly the citizens had a lot of respect for them.

Oh, by the way, if for some reason or other you had to contact the chief at his home you asked the operator for number ONE!

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Looking Back: Police