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  The Last of our First Recruits

May 01, 2015 07:13 ET

The last of our first recruits, Greg Mills, is retiring after a distinguished 43 year policing career.

Superintendent Mills met with the media on April 29th to recap his professional journey from young cadet in Toronto in April 1972 to his hiring in January 1974 by a new organization called the Durham Regional Police.

Durham Regional Police began January 1, 1974 after provincial legislation regionalized police services in several parts of Ontario. The first officers were pulled from the existing seven police forces in Ajax, Bowmanville, Cannington, Oshawa, Pickering, Uxbridge and Whitby.

The first Chief, Jon Jenkins from the Oshawa Police Department, needed a few more good men to round out the crew. Greg Mills was in that first recruit class, on January 14, 1974.

The DRPS was so new, the uniforms and the decals for the cars weren't ready yet. Greg's first local uniform came from the former Oshawa Police Department.

He began his DRP career as a frontline patrol officer in Pickering, in the building that now serves as the Credit Union on Hwy 2 just west of Dixie. After 18 months, he went to Uxbridge Village. Back then, this was the only northern municipality served by the DRP and was only patrolled until 2 a.m., then the O.P.P. took over.

From there he spent time in Oshawa with the Regional Hit and Run Squad, and the Crime Investigation Bureau before being promoted to Detective and transferring to the former 26 Division (North Durham). As Staff Sergeant, Greg headed back to Oshawa to lead the Records Unit. In 1993, S/Sgt. Mills was transferred to the Freedom of Information Unit as the FOI Co-ordinator. He civilianized both units upon leaving.

As an Inspector, he spent time in North Durham and Ajax-Pickering. He also had a role in revamping the property system, by installing new lockers and bar-coding property. He was promoted to the rank of Superintendent in August 2000 and he retires as OIC of North and East Divisions and Patrol Support.

He was the first officer to attain 40 years of Service with the DRP and served under all seven DRP Chiefs.

Some of the great memories shared with reporters included:

* When he first started, some of the cruisers had telephones. Officers answered calls directly from the citizens they served

* The first K-9 in service was a crossbreed nicknamed Gums, as it had lost most of its teeth. But the bad guys didnt know this!

* There was a courthouse in Pickering Village and one of the local judges was also an actor in the little theatre. When court was over, the judge sometimes slipped out of his robes and slipped into a costume for that night's performance.

The DRPS would like to tip its cap to Superintendent Greg Mills for his lifelong service, his integrity and his passion for helping our citizens. Job well done!

Below are attached files.
Supt. Mills with the 1974 Biscayne DRP Patrol Car (JPG file, 541.1K bytes)
Interview wih the Toronto Sun (JPG file, 6,400.3K bytes)
The Media Interviewing Supt. Mills (JPG file, 285.3K bytes)