Youbou’s only cop-shop built in 1944

The Youbou BC Provincial Police station was built in 1944

Did Youbou ever have a police station let alone a first one you might ask. Perhaps a few history buffs and an area “old-timer” with keen memories can recall the good old days when police presence (and crime) was at a minimum.

But yes, there was once a police station and a full time resident policeman in the small community of Youbou. Granted, it was a long time ago and a world away from today’s model of policing, but it served its purpose nabbing the occasional individual who strayed from the law or responding to a complaint that a cow or chicken was running loose. For the most part the “local cop” became a member of the community who was respected and liked by many residents who called him a friend.

The announcement in August 1944 that Youbou would soon be getting its first resident policeman was well received by the community. It was also welcomed by Youbou’s Industrial Lumber Mill (I.T.M.) management who had lobbied (a word not used at the time) to secure a permanent police presence in the community.

The August 1944 issue of the company owned monthly newsletter, the I. T. M. Bulletin, ran an article on the need for a resident community policeman who would “perform the thousand and one duties that fall to the lot of police officers.”

It was also suggested that the psychological effect of a police presence, would benefit the community. The I.T.M. Bulletin editor (a company employee) also reported that a new proposed police station would be useful as an “excellent reception center for incoming dignitaries.”  There was no mention of crime of any sort.

In October 1944, British Columbia Provincial Police service (BCPP) Const. Wally Todd, arrived at his new post in Youbou straight from his previous post at Telegraph Creek, BC.  He was welcomed by company dignitaries and shown to his living quarters at the nearby Youbou Apartments. He and his wife lived in Youbou until 1946.

The new police station, built in 1944, was situated on a building lot across the road from the Youbou church (the same church that is there today). In 1949, a roomy addition was added to the police station allowing the policeman and his family (should he have one) a place to live. It was a neat little set up and served the community and the company well.

After Const. Todd, came Const. Jack Meredith Jones who stayed until the summer of 1948 when he quit the force to drive a chipper truck. Const. Bill Aylward was the community’s last resident policeman. He served from mid 1948 until 1952 — two of those years as a member of the BCPP with the last two years in the RCMP. (Note: In 1950 the British Columbia Provincial Police service was disbanded with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police service taking over.)

The RCMP service did not replace Aylward after he left in 1952 leaving the community, once again, to be served by the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment. The police building, was later sold and has been used as a private residence ever since.

 

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