Harold H. DENT
Provincial Constable - Badge #44
Rockland - Jun 20, 1940
Provincial Constable Dent spent all of his life and career in eastern Ontario. He was born in Rockland on March 2, 1903 and was appointed to the OPP on November 30, 1930. He served briefly in Ottawa before returning to spend the rest of his working life in Rockland.
Once in his hometown of Rockland, Harold and his wife, whom he married on September 13, 1933, became involved in the community. He served on the public school board and became a manager of the United Church. He enjoyed fishing and hunting. Practically all the family photos showed dogs he had trained for the hunt.
During just under ten year’s of service with the OPP, Dent received four commendations for efforts in two break, enter and thefts, a murder-conspiracy and an armed robbery. The officer even figured in a chapter in the book “Who Said Murder?” by Charles Bell, Q.C. The story was about the murder of a farmhand; Chief Inspector W.H. Stringer, who later became commissioner of the OPP, investigated the case.
On the morning of June 20, 1940, a farmer from the small village of Navan, twenty miles east of Ottawa, called his friend Harold Dent in his official capacity to report a suspicious character he had just met. World War II had been underway for ten months at the time and all citizens were required to carry a national identity card. The farmer did not know if the man carried approved identification but he did speak with what sounded like a German accent. The newcomer had asked the way to the railway station. When approached by Dent, the transient produced a .45 Colt automatic and fired twice, striking Dent in the right arm and abdomen. The suspect fled to the bush. Acting Sergeant J.A. Stringer was vacationing in Navan and went to Dent’s aid. He took the officers revolver and pursued his assailant into the bush. After being fired upon he shot and killed John Miki, a Finnish transient.