History of the Society
How it all began
Canadian Identification officers recognized the benefits of annual information meetings for many years prior to founding the Canadian Identification Society in l978.
In the mid-1950s, Insp. Peter Darke, Regina City Police, Detective Andy Little, Calgary Police Department, later an Alberta M.L.A., and Insp. W.M. Harasym, R.C.M.P., Ottawa, exchanged correspondence on the need to meet and share identification methods. Their mutual understanding in those early days of identification created a basis for the first Identification Seminar in the late l950s, attended by identification officers from municipal and provincial agencies.
Darke, Little and Harasym continued to correspond and, in time, RCMP Commissioner Nicholson wrote to all Chiefs of Police, soliciting their interest in regular identification meetings. Cost, and concern over loss of authority, by the Chiefs, dissuaded the original organizers. Identification Seminars sponsored by the RCMP, for municipal and provincial departments, continued in l96l and l963.
These seminars were discontinued until 1971 when a field seminar was held in Alberta for British Columbia and Alberta identification officers. In his opening address at the Alberta seminar C/ Supt. W.M. Harasym expressed the possibility that some day a Canadian Identification Association would he formed. Similar seminars were held at Halifax in l973 and Winnipeg in 1974. The Canadian Police College and Ontario Police College continue to conduct courses for senior identification officers.
Identification officers in Canada have joined the International Association for Identification and the Fingerprint Society of England, Those in Ontario and British Columbia also became members of an I.A.I. Charter Division. The I.A.I. resolution to establish a Latent Print Certification Board did not, as thought by many, prompt the formation of an identification association in Canada. The Resolution did cause Canadian identification officers to recognize there was no single organization in Canada to administer a fingerprint certification program should the court experience such a challenge and require the qualification for a fingerprint witness.
In November l976, RCMP Chief Superintendant W.A. Wrenshail and Supt. C,D, Tiller included the provision to initiate an organization to be known as the Canadian Identification Society, in the Policies, Objectives and Goals of Identification Services. Their rationale came from the long recognized need for all Canadian Identification experts to discuss mutual problems and exchange scientific & technical information that would enhance identification work in Canada. This Goal was approved by the commissioner of the day. Work began shortly thereafter on a charter for a Canadian society. Insp, Lloyd Dunham drafted the Constitution. Legal advice and representation to the Consumer and Corporate Affairs was given by RCMP Lawyer Yvon Vanasse, Key senior identification officers across Canada were contacted and agreed to serve as the Society's Charter Members.
Application for designation as the Canadian Identification Society was refused until then Deputy Commissioner A.C. Potter, RCMP, provided the level of senior recommendation that satisfied the Consumer and Corporate Affairs, On November l3, l977 the Letters Patent was signed making the Canadian Identification Society a corporation without share capital under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act.
Chief Superintendant C.D. (Chris) Tiller became the pro tem President, Insp. Lloyd Dunham the Secretary-Treasurer and Editor of the Newsletter. The first Annual Meeting was held on July l2, 13, 14, l978 at the Canadian Police College, Ottawa, Ontario.
Certification of fingerprint examiners was written into the original constitution, it stated:
13.07 The Society shall engage in a program of the certification of Identification Personnel to ensure that only those persons who are properly qualified present expert testimony relating to Identification matters in a court of law.
It is not necessary to be a member of the Society to be certified thereby. This Program shall be administered by the Board of Directors who shall appoint the necessary Committee and any other necessary persons to carry out the Program.
At the Second Meeting of the Society in l979 at Regina, members voted to change the word "Certification" to "Fellowship". The l980 Annual Meeting held in Peterborough appointed a Committee and Chairman to develop a Fellowship program in time for the 198l Meeting. At Vancouver in l981 the membership accepted new wording for Section l3.07 to describe Fellowship, but did not accept the Fellowship Committee presentation. The Fellowship Committee Program was accepted in l982 at the Montreal Meeting, and was given a vote of confidence with the formation of a Fellowship Board and appointment of a Board Chairman at the Calgary Meeting in 1983. The Board was voted $2,000.00 as operating capital and instructed to proceed. Work completed by the Fellowship Board following the l983 Meeting was placed on hold at the St. John's Meeting in l984. At Winnipeg in l985, the entire Section 13.07 dealing with Fellowship was deleted from the Constitution and By- Laws and became a regulation to govern appointment of Fellows in the Society.
The Fellowship Board continued its work to establish a level of membership for those contributing to the field of forensic identification and the Society. The Board presented a contemporary criterion for Fellowship to the Directors at their l986 Meeting in Burlington Ontario. The Directors contributed additional views and national opinions, then approved the document for vote by the members. Members attending the l986 Annual Business Meeting voted to place the Fellowship document before the entire membership for an irrevocable absentee vote. The membership approved the document by October 3l, l986 as required.
President Kenneth J. Collier and his Board of Directors were concerned that the years of debate over Fellowship and amendments to the Constitution had effected the Society's focus. A Committee was formed under Chairman Insp. W.J. Whyte, RCMP, to propose more acceptable and workable by-laws for the Society. The Committee's work was presented to the Board of Directors at their 1987 Annual Meeting in Victoria, British Colombia The recommendation was to repeal the original Constitution and amend Objective "A" of the Letters Patent. The Directors approved the recommended proposal, and the amendment to the Letters Patent, Members attending the 1987 Annual Business Meeting unanimously approved the proposal that was given the title BY-LAW No. 1, and approved the amendment to the Letters Patent, The Minister of Consumer & Corporate Affairs approved the repeal and amendment as of June 18, 1987. William Donald Dixon, Metropolitan Toronto Police Force, was elected President of the Canadian Identification Society on April 24, l987. The Society suffered its greatest shock and loss when Donald Dixon passed away on May 22, 1987, while attending a meeting in Ottawa. First Vice- President Spencer M. Hilton became President.
By-Law No. 1 allows the Society the advantage of managing its affairs by resolutions as approved by the Board of Directors. There is no need for Ministerial approval of resolutions. The Board of Directors alone may approve the resolutions however, it is expected the members will be involved to serve the best interest of the Society. The Annual Business Meetings of the Society can now focus on Society business with time to hear presentations by members on ways and means to meet current objectives and future goals.