Herchmer, Lawrence William

Lawrence William Herchmer, Indian agent, police commissioner (b at Shipton on Cherwell, Eng 25 Apr 1840; d at Vancouver 17 Feb 1915). He served briefly in the British army and as supply officer for the British Boundary Commission (1872-74) before being appointed an Indian agent in Manitoba in 1876; in 1886 he was made commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police. A capable administrator, Herchmer reorganized the force into an efficient police service. He greatly improved living conditions, benefits and training for the men, but his quick temper and overbearing nature created many enemies. He was publicly charged with mismanagement and tyrannical conduct. Although a judicial inquiry (1892) cleared him of serious wrongdoing, he was replaced as commissioner in 1900 while serving with the Canadian Mounted Rifles in South Africa, an injustice he protested until his death.