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History of Major Posts
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Outpost System

Imagine enforcing the law in an area covered by Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta - with only 300 policemen! This is what Commissioner French and his men tried to accomplish. To be successful, it required spreading the men thinly across this huge territory. It also required a reputation for fairness and compassion in order to make it work.

Once Fort Macleod was established, Assistant Commissioner Macleod's next responsibility was to spread the red cloak of the law over this vast landscape. He accomplished his goal by establishing several larger posts - Fort Walsh, Fort Saskatchewan, Fort Battleford and Fort Calgary - in strategic locations at fords and along major travel routes. From each of the larger posts radiated outposts, smaller posts usually consisting of a small barracks, a stable and a corral. Each outpost was manned by a handful of men.

In 1888, Commissioner Lawrence W. Herchmer established a network of mounted patrols to supplement the outposts. One or two policemen would travel for days at a time visiting settlers and patrolling trails and cart roads. They helped where they could, often delivered news, and in turn, picked up much useful information that was relayed to the headquarters in Regina. In 1888 alone, the patrols covered over one million miles.

Some of the outposts included Fort Kipp, Fort Pitt, Fort Qu'Appelle, Short Creek Camp, Woodend, Wood Mountain, East End, Head of the Mountain, Ten Mile, Writing on Stone, Pothole, Milk River Ridge, Big Bend, Lee's Creek, Kennedy's Crossing, Pinto Horse Butte, Batoche, Saskatchewan Landing, Victoria, Onion Lake, Bressalor, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, and St. Albert.
NWMP outpost at East End.
NWMP outpost at East End.


Ready for inspection at Fort Pitt.
Ready for inspection at Fort Pitt.


Outpost at Wood Mountain
Outpost at Wood Mountain
 
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4. Establishment of a Police Force


Daily Life and Routine at the Posts
Development of communities around NWMP posts