How many of our former Bermuda police officers have copies of old Police magazines gathering dust on their bookshelves, or stored away in cupboards or drawers looking somewhat moth eaten?  

  Rare First edition - 1955
 (Courtesy Bermuda National Library)

I’m referring to the Bermuda police magazines first published in 1955, which featured articles ranging from police sporting activities, transfers and promotions, arrivals of new recruits, retirements, weddings, the very popular Divisional Notes columns for Eastern, Western, Central, CID and Operations, to a wide variety of police-related articles and interesting criminal cases.  One such criminal case is reported in that first magazine - a manhunt for a culprit who shot his wife and was tracked down by police officers using the latest technology for the time, our first “walkie talkies” in their search for him.   

 Extract from "Walkie Talkie"  case

The magazines were produced most years, and sometime more than once a year with “JCP” Hanlon as its first editor and a regular correspondent.  JCP was a young constable when he started producing the magazine and he continued to do so until shortly before he retired as Assistant Commissioner in 1985, after which Andrew Bermingham  took over as Editor in Chief and continued to maintain the highest standard of publications.

ACOP JCP Hanlon 

By coincidence Mr. Hanlon’s widow, Elizabeth “Liz” Hanlon  (JCP died in March 2002) visited Bermuda in October 2023, and provided valuable input into our Hall of Fame article on her husband CLICK HERE to view it.      

Liz described JCP as “a lover of words” as can be seen by the quality of the articles he wrote for the magazine, and his editing skills in producing such a high quality publication.   He also did a superb job in persuading fellow police officers to put pen to paper.  “JCP” deserves great credit for being the major driving force behind the publication of our magazines. 

For those of us who were serving during the time these magazines were produced they will provide not only a fascinating insight into the workings of the Police, but also a nostalgic glimpse back in time as you look through the numerous advertisements for leading stores and businesses of that era, many of which are now ‘extinct’ such as H A and E Smith’s, the Yankee Store, Astwoods Cycles, The Smoke Shop, Stuarts, The Camera Store, Tribley’s, Harnett and Richardson, and even the Arthur Murray Dance School.

Let’s Dance!

Our earliest magazines featured relatively few photographs but they quickly evolved and took on a highly professional look with full colour front covers, and lots of photographs courtesy of the Scenes of Crime photographers, and in particular Ernest McCreight as Photographic Adviser.

Front cover in full colour – Winter  1964

We have been extremely fortunate that Rees Fletcher, son of the Late retired Sergeant, Derek Fletcher, took a personal interest in wanting to make sure that our Police magazines be somehow preserved for posterity.  Derek had been one of the magazine correspondents who wrote Divisional notes during the late 50’s and early 60’s.  CLICK HERE for our Hall of Fame article about Derek.

Rees Fletcher

Sergeant Derek Fletcher

With the assistance of Martin Weekes and several of our ExPo members, we were able to put together a collection of the old magazines, and Rees generously paid to have them all scanned by the National Museum of Bermuda, which in turn has kindly provided us with digital copies of the collection.

We then worked closely with our Webmaster, Bob MacLean, to purchase the necessary software to have them all downloaded onto our ExPo website in an attractive format that allows readers to literally flip through the pages of each magazine. This has been a major endeavor resulting in our readers now having easy access to all of the magazines, along with a scanned copy of the illustrated book published in 2014 entitled “135 Years of Service History”.

135 Years of Service History - 2014

 Unfortunately, we are not able to use our regular “search engine” to search through every word in each magazine,  but we have published a BPS Magazine Index  that provides a brief description of the contents of every article written in the magazines. It also provides the title of each article along with the description of contents together with the page number and the year and season (Spring or Summer etc.)  when the article was published.

You will find the magazines, in chronological order, by clicking on BPS MAGAZINE in the blue banner on our Home Page.   There you will find detailed instructions on how to open and examine the magazines,  and you will also be able to access the BPS Magazine Index highlighted in bright blue.

We trust that our colleagues who served in the Bermuda Police during the years when the magazine was published will enjoy strolling down memory lane, and that anyone wishing to research the history of the Bermuda Police Service will also find these magazines a rich source of material.  For anyone interested in further researching the history of the Bermuda Police we recommend that you view our ExPo website article “History of Bermuda Police Goes Worldwide”  which also contains an index of 11 articles of historical interest.  CLICK HERE to review the article 

Happy reading.

Roger Sherratt
ExPo Editor
March 2024