Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

Colin John Delaney


LAW and ORDER in the Pioneering Days of NSW.

Colin John DELANEY, C.V.O., C.B.E., Commissioner of Police
14th October, 1952 – 27th February, 1962

Colin John Delaney
Colin John Delaney

Colin John Delaney was born at Pyramid Hill, Northern Victoria, on the 28th February,1879, and joined the New South Wales Police Force on the 29th April, 1919. After a brief period of uniform duty he was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Branch, where he carried out special criminal investigation duties until 1940. During this period he performed inter-change duties in all States of the Commonwealth and in 1927 was assigned to special duties in connection with the Royal Visit to Canberra of the Duke and Duchess of York, on the occasion of the opening of Federal Parliament House.
During the period 1940 to 1947 Mr. Delaney was attached to the Licensing, Traffic, and Vice Squad branches of the Force, and for 30 months represented the Commissioner of Police as a member of the Crown Employee’s Appeal Board. He was appointed an Inspector of Police in 1942, and a Police Superintendent in 1946. In 1947, he was appointed to Tamworth, and in 1950 to Superintendent in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch. He was appointed Deputy Commissioner on the 10th May, 1952, and Commissioner of Police on the 10th October,1952.
In 1953, Mr. Delaney was Chairman of a special Committee which promoted a World Championship Bantam Boxing Contest between Jim Carruthers, titleholder, a product of the Woolloomooloo Police Citizens Boy’s Club and Pappy Gault, an American, as a result of which the Federation of Boy’s Clubs benefited to the extent of 48.000.00 pounds, (approx $110,000). The following year, as a guest of the Siam Government, he attended a similar contest at Bangkok in which Carruthers again successfully defended his title. In 1955, Mr. Delaney represented the Commonwealth Police Commissioners at an International Police Conference at Istanbul, Turkey, and then proceeded to the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Unite States, where he carried out investigations into the latest methods of crime detection, traffic control and general administration.
For over ten years Mr. Delaney was the senior Vice-President of the Federation of Police Citizens Boy’s Clubs, and rendered that organisation invaluable service by sponsoring the formation of additional Clubs. He was awarded the Coronation Medal in 1937, the Kings Police Medal in 1950, the Coronation Medal in 1953, and created a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for personal services to Her Majesty the Queen during the Royal Visit in 1954. He was created a Commander of the British Empire in 1962 New Year Honours.
Mr. Delaney was the basic founder of the Tutorial College, at Manly, for the specialised training of Commonwealth Police Officers. Ever vigilant for the comfort of Police, he approved the summer dress Police uniforms to cope with climatic condition. He was an earnest advocate that “Courtesy is the Lifeblood of any Police Force”. An outstanding administrator, strict disciplinarian, friend and counsellor, and a man of great probity and resolve Mr. Delaney retired on 27th February, 1962, enjoying the respect, admiration, and affection of all sections of the New South Wales community.

One thought on “Colin John Delaney

  • tony shields

    I will never forget Delaney saying in 1960 “the greatest threat that exists today is homosexuality – even greater than communism”. As a gay older man, that one comment has always stayed with me. Needless to say I did not like this man or his views!!!


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