Captain William Charles Harris became the second Chief Constable of Hampshire County Constabulary in 1842 and held the post until his appointment as Assistant Commissioner in 1856. He was previously a member of 68th Regiment of Light Infantry and had spent 4 years in Ireland aiding civil police.
He purchased the rank of Lieutenant on 8 November 1833 as recorded in the ‘London Gazette’ which has the following entry:
68th Foot, Ensign William Charles Harris to be Lieutenant, by purchase, vice Douglas, who retires. Dated 5th November 1833.
He then purchased the rank of Captain on 9 January 1838 as recorded in the ‘London Gazette’ which has the following entry:
68th Foot, Lieutenant William Charles Harris to be Captain, by purchase, vice Bayly, who retires. Dated 9th January 1838.
He resigned in 1856. He was remembered for improving organisation and reducing crime. He was appointed as the first Assistant Commissioner (Executive) of the London Metropolitan Police in 1856. This appointment was recorded in the ‘London Gazette’ which has the following entry:
Whitehall, March 3, 1856.
The Queen has been pleased to appoint William Charles Harris, Esq., Chief Constable of the county of Hants, and Captain Douglas William Parish Labalmanliere, Inspecting Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police, to be the Assistant Commissioners of Police of the Metropolis.
In this office he was in charge of executive business, supplies and buildings and held office until 1881.
He was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) on 12 July 1881. This event was recorded in the ‘London Gazette’:
War Office, July 12, 1881.
THE Queen has been graciously pleased to give orders for the appointment of Captain William Charles Harris, Assistant Commissioner of Police
of the Metropolis, to be an Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Third Class, or Companions of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.