Constable

James A. McNicoll

Crowland Township Police

September 2nd, 1930

Age: 27 / 2 years service

 

James A. McNicoll was Married with 4 Children.

 


Circumstances

In 1928, James at the age of 25, became a Constable with the Crowland Township Police Force. Crowland Township later becomes part of the City of Welland. Here, Constable McNicoll quickly established a reputation as a courteous and fearless officer and was esteemed by his fellow officers. On Tuesday September 2 1930 at approximately 8 p.m., Constable McNicoll was on duty at Police Headquarters located on Steel Street and was speaking to Customs and Excise Officer George Spencer when an emergency call was received to a Sixth Street residence reporting a gun being fired. Constable McNicoll immediately rushed to the scene in a car driven by Spencer. Arriving at the scene moments later, Constable McNicoll approached the house while Spencer parked his car. As Constable McNicoll arrived at the steps leading to a glass enclosed verandah at the front of the residence, a 45 year old man inside and hidden from sight, rose up pointing a double barreled 12 gauge shotgun at Constable McNicoll. Without warning, the man fired the gun at Constable McNicoll striking the officer in the head. McNicoll never had a chance to draw his service revolver. He died instantly from a single shotgun wound to the head. The suspect was arrested for the murder of Constable McNicoll. Following a trial, an appeal and second trial, the accused was sentenced to death by hanging. On Friday May 15 1931 at 5:30 a.m., as the morning sun began to rise, the accused was hanged in the courtyard of the County Jail in Welland.


Constable James Albert McNicoll was the grandfather of retired Niagara Regional Police Service member - Detective Sergeant Rick Berketa.