First 100 years – NSW

The New South Wales Police
Force Chronology Of The
First Hundred Years
(1862 to 1962)

1862
In this year the New South Wales Police Force is created by the amalgamation of all existing Forces into one organisation. The new force, bought about by the Police Regulation Act 1862, is controlled by Inspector General John McLerie. Sub-Districts are created across the state, and these are controlled by Police Inspectors. Police are now being issued with .36 calibre Colt Navy revolvers. Until this time they had only been issued with various single-shot weapons, which were most unsatisfactory.

1871
All Police have their wages reduced by sixpence per day. As a result, many leave the Force.

1872
Since 1862, 70 new Police Stations have been established and there are about 803 men in the Police Force. Australian Police begin photographing prisoners.

1874
Edmund Fosberry becomes Inspector General of Police.

1890
The Bertillon system of criminal identification is published by Alphonse Bertillon.

1891
Juan Vucetich of Buenos Aires establishes the world’s first Fingerprint Registry.

1893
Police are using bicycles in Sydney and some country areas.

1894
Sydney Police are now issued with firearms for general use.

1900
E.R. Henry refines Vucetich’s system of fingerprint identification by dividing print patterns.

1903
The Police Finger Branch is established.

1911
Ernest Charles Day is appointed Inspector General of Police.

1913
Telephones are being introduced into country Police Stations, vastly improving communications.

1915
James Mitchell is appointed Inspector General of Police. The Police Prosecuting Branch is established. The first Police patrol car is bought into use in the state. Lillian Armfield and Maude Rhodes are appointed as the first Policewomen in the state.

1916
Significant uniform changers occur and a new style of cap and tunic is introduced. Police motor cycles are introduced.

1921
The New South Wales Police Association is formed.

1924
New South Wales Police begin using wireless telegraphy.

1925
The Public Safety Bureau (traffic unit) is established.

1927
The Drug Squad and the Police Motor Vehicle Branch are established.

1929
The Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) and the Consorting Branch are both established.

1930
Walter Henry Childs becomes Commissioner of Police. The Missing Friends Bureau is formed (renamed the Missing Persons Bureau in 1974). The Bogus Agents & Company Squad is formed (renamed Fraud Squad in 1961). The Modus Operandi Unit and Police Motor Squad are formed.

1934
The first New South Wales Police Wireless Room is established.

1935
William John McKay becomes Police Commissioner.

1937
The Police Radio Telephone System is established.

1938
The Police Scientific Investigation Branch is established.

1941
The Police Prosecuting Branch is formalised and expanded. The Central Fingerprint Bureau of Australia is established.

1942
The Police Cliff Rescue Squad is established.

1946
New South Wales Police have further uniform changes. Open-necked tunics with ties are introduced. The Police Aviation Section is established.

1947
The School Lecturing Section is formed.

1948
James Frederick Scott becomes Commissioner of Police.

1950
The Police Aviation Section is disbanded. It re-emerged as the Police Air Wing in 1979.

1950
The Minister for Transport, Mr. Sheahan, has advised ( in October ) that arrangements are in hand for the purchase of sirens to be fitted to all special traffic patrol units used throughout the state of NSW.  It is anticipated that all vehicle will be so equipped within approximately two months.

1952
Colin John Delaney becomes Commissioner of Police.

1953
The Police Flood Rescue Squad is established.

1958
The New South Wales Police Driver Training School at St Ives is opened.

1961

The New South Wales Police have more uniform changes. Tunics become optional dress in summer. There would be no more uniform changes until 1972. There are now 5,717 men and women in the NSW Police Force. 1,700 of these are serving in country areas.

1962
The year of the Centenary of the New South Wales Police Force. There are 507 Police Stations in New South Wales. Norman Thomas Allan becomes Commissioner of Police.

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