Walter Henry Childs

LAW and ORDER in the Pioneering Days of NSW.

Walter Henry CHILDS, M.V.O., Commissioner of Police
21st March, 1930 – 23rd March, 1935

Walter Henry Childs

Walter Henry Childs was born at Bega on 24th March, 1872, and joined the New South Wales Police Force on the 17th February, 1892. He served in uniform at a number of metropolitan stations and in 1898 was transferred to the Accounts Branch at Police Headquarters. He was promoted to Sergeant 3rd Class on 1st April, 1902. In that year he was selected by the Inspector-General to in introduce a fingerprint system based on London Scotland Yard methods into the New South Wales Police Force. He remained in charge of the Fingerprint, Criminal Correspondence, and Criminal Records sections until January 1915, when he was transferred to Albury as Superintendent-in-Charge. He was later appointed to West Maitland and Newcastle in a similar capacity. In 1927 Mr. Childs was appointed Metropolitan Superintendent, acting Police Commissioner in 1929, and Commissioner of Police on 21st March, 1930.
During his regime as Commissioner of Police Mr. Childs was responsible for many new reforms, which proved of great value to general Police Administration and efficiency. He introduced the Police Call Box system into the Force, expanded the activities of the Police Wireless section, and established the B030 Telephone system as a complete internal unit. Mr. Childs was responsible for framing special legislation to combat the growing menace of consorting by criminals, established a modern fleet of Police motor vehicles, and introduced the Pistol License Register of records. He also adopted the area system within the Criminal Investigation Branch, and established the Forensic Ballistics section.
Upon the visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester to Sydney in 1934, Mr. Childs was invested with Membership of the Victorian Order. He retired on the 23rd March, 1935, after a long and distinguished career, and lived at Rose Bay in Sydney.

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