The first provincial police detachment in Sooke was housed in a basement room in a cottage on Sooke River Road.
Const. Allan Quinn was the first police officer posted to Sooke. Before Quinn’s arrival in March 1943, Sgt. Bob Owens drove from Victoria when there were incidents requiring police attention in the 1920s and 1930s.
Thanks to Wendal Milne, who served in Sooke twice earlier, and came back as NCO in charge of the Sooke RCMP Detachment in 1994, the Sooke Region Museum has access to Const. Quinn’s journal.
“Thursday April 1st 1943, Constable Allan Quinn #793 i/c new Sooke detachment. Office located in Syrett home on River Road – 1940 Model Ford V8 coach Dept. #A591 54250 miles received from m/s McNaught for transportation at this detachment. Had visit from Sergeant C C Jacklin NCO i/c Victoria Detachment and paymaster Moses re-installation of telephone at this office.” “Saturday April 3rd 1943. 10:00 pm – On duty at dance in evening. Very orderly crowd. Large number of soldiers attended. Crowd of 150. Little evidence of liquor.”
It is likely that Const. Quinn was referring here to servicemen from the newly opened Milne’s Landing Army Training Camp, located where Edward Milne Community School stands today. (If you wondered how Jacklin Road in the Western Communities got its name, now you know it came from B.C. Provincial Police Sgt. Jacklin.)
“Saturday April 10 – to Saturday night patrol – checked Seventeen Mile House – large crowd – ran out of beer at 10:30 pm. Checked hamburger stand – stopped threatened fight between ….. and ….. gave them and also ….. a warning.”
“April 21st – To Mt. Shepherd (sic Road) re a complaint of an old man in need of assistance …. aged 68 years living alone in a shack. No food, no heat, needs medical assistance ….”
“Saturday April 24th – Patrol to Otter Point Military Camp for accident report and then to Otter Point to collect dog licenses.”
”Sunday April 25th – To attend Easter Parade and church service for soldiers – Sooke Community Hall. Large crowd attended.”
The detachment operated from a larger Quinn family home until 1948 when a permanent police headquarters was built at the corner of Drennan and Sooke Road. The building was taken over by the RCMP when they absorbed the provincial police in 1958.
Cpl. Lew Dempsey came in 1961 and when he left in 1967, the detachment numbered three. When Wendal Milne served as staff sergeant in 1994, there were 13 members. By 1993, a new RCMP headquarters opened on Church Road.
Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter