History of the LaSalle Police Service

Named after French explorer, Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, French settlers first established roots in the area in the mid-1700s. A mission was established in the Town of Sandwich, resulting in people settling in the Turkey Creek area known as Petite Côte. LaSalle’s history and that of Essex County were very much entwined when they were officially identified as part of Upper Canada in 1792.

Old map of Petite Cote - LaSalle

One of the first roads in Ontario was laid out in Petite Cote. It was known as King’s Highway No. 18 until 1997 when it was renamed County Road 20, which now stretches from LaSalle through Amherstburg and into Essex, Kingsville, and Leamington.

In 1861, the area currently known as the Town of LaSalle as well as a large portion of South Windsor was founded as Sandwich West Township.

On April 17th, 1924, The Town of LaSalle (as it was known), separated from the surrounding Township of Sandwich West and became incorporated as a Town under its visionary and first mayor, Vital Benoit. At that time the LaSalle Police Force was founded that consisted of a chief of police and two constables.  The Town of LaSalle was located on the bank of the Detroit River on what is referred to as the “Nautical Mile”. The LaSalle Town Hall was situated at the corner of Front Road and Laurier Drive and housed the police station in the basement which was one small room for the officers and a holding cell.  The remaining portion of the Township of Sandwich West was patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Constabulary, Sandwich West Detachment.

Photo of three LaSalle Police Officers from the 1950s

On January 1st, 1956, the Sandwich West Police Force was established and the area was no longer patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Constabulary. At that time, the force patrolled a large area stretching from the “Nautical Mile” all the way east to Dougall Avenue in what is now known as South Windsor.

Group Photo of the Sandwich West Police Service from the 1960s

On January 1st, 1959, after 35 years as a separate corporation, the Town of LaSalle went bankrupt and amalgamated back into the Township of Sandwich West. The LaSalle Police Force was disbanded and the three former LaSalle Officers joined with the Sandwich West Police Force bringing the total number of officers to one Chief, two Sergeants, fifteen Constables, and one Secretary. They provided policing services to a population of over 26,000 residents. No longer needed, the LaSalle Town Hall / Police Station was sold and became a bank, and later an apartment building that remains there today.

Despite the amalgamation, the residents of the old town would always refer to that area as LaSalle.

In January 1961, the Sandwich West Police Force moved into a new building built behind the Sandwich West Township town hall, located at 5950 Malden Road.

Sandwich West Police Service station and car 1980s

In January 1966, a large portion of the township consisting of the South Windsor area was annexed by the City of Windsor reducing the geographical area of the township to its current size. The police force was reduced from twenty-three officers down to six as most went to work for the Windsor Police Force.  A few of the officers retired or resigned.

The Township of Sandwich East Police, Town of Riverside Police, and Town of Ojibway Police also ceased to exist and amalgamated services with the City of Windsor Police.

old photo of man in divers suit

On August 23rd, 1969 Constable Robert Carrick of the Township of Sandwich West Police Force was fatally shot while on duty. Constable Carrick was responding to a domestic assault at a residence on Sprucewood Avenue in the Township. Constable Carrick was able to get the suspect’s wife and child out of the house and to safety behind his police cruiser, before being shot fatally by the suspect. Constable Robert Ross of the Sandwich West Police as well as Constable Alfred Oakley of the Windsor Police were both shot in the ensuing gun battle. Constable Alfred Oakley received several gunshot wounds and Constable Ross also was shot several times and lost an eye in the shooting. Both officers would eventually recover from their wounds. Constable Carrick, (twenty-three years old), was laid to rest three days later with full Police Honors. The suspect in these shootings (who gave himself up to other attending officers), was convicted of 1st Degree Murder and attempted murder and was sentenced to capital punishment. This punishment was later commuted to life imprisonment when capital punishment was abolished. The suspect was later released within ten years of the murder on full parole.

On June 1st, 1991, the Township of Sandwich West received provincial approval to incorporate as a Town. Several names were proposed for the new Town including “Clearwater” and “Trillium” but after a vote “LaSalle” was agreed upon and adopted. The Sandwich West Township Police Force was disbanded and the newly minted LaSalle Police Service was formed.

On September 1st, 1991, the police facility at 5950 Malden Road was updated and renovated into a modern police facility with a fully functional communications centre, sufficient office space, and holding cells. The force consisted of the Chief, one Staff Sergeant, three Sergeants, and seventeen Constables.

Photo of LaSalle Police Service headquarters 1990

Over the next several years, with increased residential development, population growth, and service demands, the LaSalle Police Service continued to expand, outgrowing the limitations of the existing police building.

On August 1st, 2013, The LaSalle Police Service moved into their new state-of-the-art police facility that was designed and built at 1880 Normandy Street, LaSalle, Ontario. Their new facility takes into account anticipated growth projections and is expected to meet the needs of the Service for several decades.

Current photo of LaSalle Police Service

The land area of the Town of LaSalle is approximately 65 square kilometers and in 2024 has a population of approximately 35,000. The town is bordered on the north by the City of Windsor on the east by the Town of Tecumseh on the west by the Detroit River, and on the south by the Town of Amherstburg.

Most of the 63 employees of the LaSalle Police Service reside within the community and there is almost an even split between men and women. Of the sworn police members, there are 75 % male officers and 25% female officers. 90% of the civilian members are women.

The LaSalle Police Communication Centre consists of nine full-time and four part-time Civilian Dispatchers including one civilian dispatch Supervisor, as well as four support staff members.

The Communication Centre provides dispatching duties for LaSalle Police, the LaSalle Fire Service and the Kingsville Fire Service.

Although there have been some changes in policing in LaSalle throughout our history, the LaSalle Police Service can trace its roots back to the first municipal police service established in our community on April 17th, 1924.

On April 17th, 2024, the LaSalle Police Service will reach its centennial anniversary, celebrating 100 years of dedicated service to our community.


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Our Sole Mission is to Protect Lives and Property of the Citizens We Serve, Provide a Safe Community, Improve Quality of Life and Prevent Crime While Working in Partnership With the Community

LaSalle Police Service

1880 Normandy St.
LaSalle, Ontario
N9H 1P8

Phone: 519-969-5210
Fax: 519-969-2662


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