Robert Charles SHEPHERD
aka ” Bob “
New South Wales Police Force
Joined NSW Police via the NSW Police Cadet System on 30 January 1945
Cadet # 505
Regd. # ?
Rank: Assistant Commissioner – Retired
Stations: Newcastle, Corowa, Wagga Wagga
Service: From 30 January 1945 to 4 May 1988 – 43 years
Awards: National Medal – granted 11 December 1985
Australian Police Medal – granted 9 June 1986
Churchhill Fellow, B.A. ( Newcastle )
Born: 9 March 1929
Died on: 17 January 2015
Funeral date: Friday 23 January 2015 @ 10.15am
Funeral location: North Chapel, Northern Suburbs Crematorium, 199 Delhi Rd, North Ryde
Buried at: Cremated
SHEPHERD, Robert Charles (Bob)
APM, Churchill Fellow, B.A. (Newcastle)
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Retired).
Passed away peacefully on January 17, 2015.
Late of North Strathfield, Thornleigh, Newcastle, Corowa and Wagga Wagga.
Much loved and loving husband of Rose (dec).
Adored father of Susie, Stephen (dec), Stewart and Shelley, and their families. Fond brother of Barbara.
Aged 85 years
He always said he lived a good life: a life rich with love and adventure: a happy life alongside his adored Rose and his family.
Rest in peace.
Bob’s family and friends are warmly invited to attend his Funeral Service to be held in the North Chapel, Northern Suburbs Crematorium, 199 Delhi Road, North Ryde on Friday (January 23, 2015) commencing at 10.15am.
Donations to the Police Wives and Friends in lieu of flowers would be appreciated and envelopes will be available at the service.
Please help the family celebrate Bob’s life by wearing something colourful.
Ann Wilson Funerals
An Australian Company
Tribute to Former Police Assistant Commissioner Robert Shepherd
Ms ANGELA D’AMORE (Drummoyne—Parliamentary Secretary) [12.21 p.m.]: It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge the distinguished career with the New South Wales Police Force of one of the residents of my electorate, Robert Shepherd. On 22 February 2010 I attended the South West Metropolitan Regional Zone medal and awards presentation ceremony at Burwood RSL in my capacity as local member and Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Minister for Police to assist with presentation of New South Wales police medals and clasps to the New South Wales police medal.
The New South Wales police medal is awarded to sworn in members of the New South Wales Police Force who have completed 10 years of diligent and ethical service. The medal is awarded only after a detailed review of a nominee’s service history. A clasp is awarded for each subsequent five-year increment of service provided the appropriate award criteria are satisfied. I was delighted to present the medal to my constituent Robert Shepherd, a former Assistant Commissioner with 40 years distinguished service with the New South Wales Police Force.
Robert Shepherd has had an interesting career: He commenced his career as a police cadet between 1945 and 1948. He served at police headquarters, running around delivering mail, nearly knocking down all the senior public service staff, and was an assistant to the station sergeant with a variety of duties. He was then transferred to the depot stables, having never ridden a horse. He then learned to ride and assist in training the horses for the Police Musical Ride. He performed at various shows and tried to establish a new routine of standing on the backs of two horses, not always a successful act as he could not get the two horses to move off together, and police officers often fell between the legs of horses.
Robert then assisted traffic sergeants with their office duties at Central, Regent Street and Phillip Street police stations. As a senior cadet he transferred to the superintendent’s office at Petersham, where he performed duties as a shorthand writer and typist. In those days no mistakes were allowed and there were no erasures; pages simply had to be retyped. Robert moved up the ranks to serve as officer in charge of the Scientific Investigation Section at Newcastle, investigating murders, rapes, serious accidents and crimes from 1959 to 1974. In 1971 he was the second police officer in New South Wales to receive a bachelor of arts from the University of Newcastle and was the first New South Wales police officer to receive a Churchill Fellowship. The fellowship grant was to attend the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] National Academy, and he was the first New South Wales police officer to attend the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy at Quantico, Virginia. This was followed by his attendance in 1972 at the FBI National Academy, graduating with distinctions.
On completing this course, and with the total support and financial backing of his family, he then toured police establishments at Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, London, Glasgow, Munich and Tokyo. New South Wales police service took him to both the country and the city, in both plainclothes and uniform. It is with great fondness that Robert recalls when he established a scientific investigation section at Wagga Wagga and the five wonderful years he spent there with his wife. Whilst based at Wagga Wagga he covered the vast Riverina area and also undertook the duties of lock-up keeper. These duties entailed the care and feeding of prisoners. He said that his wife fed the prisoners exactly the same food that they ate.
The next 15 years were spent in Newcastle as the officer in charge of the scientific investigation section. It was during this period that Robert sat for and qualified to be a detective. He was a detective sergeant in charge of No. 29 divisional detectives, which covered the area extending from Mona Vale to Palm Beach. Upon returning to the Sydney office of the scientific investigation section he played a prominent role in reorganising the managerial aspects of the section and later became an investigating officer with the newly established Police Internal Affairs Branch. He rose to second in charge of the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence and was charged with extracting and disseminating criminal intelligence. He also established an operational unit within the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence.
On 4 May 1984 Robert was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Internal Affairs Branch. He retired on 4 May 1988 after 40 years service with the New South Wales Police Force. The Australian Police Medal was presented to him in 1986 at Government House. Some would say that Robert Shepherd was a controversial police officer. He was part of some groundbreaking police techniques, which are now seen as part of everyday police operations. At the time, in order to catch major criminals in the drug trade, his team watched a marijuana crop grow and when it was moved across the border into Victoria they alerted Victoria Police, who made the arrest. This arrest led to the conviction of the murderer of a Griffith whistleblower.
As a result of this police operation Robert Shepherd was heavily mentioned in the Age tapes. This involved the illegal tapping of telephone conversations and, as a consequence, he appeared in a number of royal commissions. At the time the press presented the activities as placing everyone at risk of invasion of privacy but when eventually he gave evidence he was able to show that only well-known criminals were taped and that it was not an invasion of citizens’ privacy. For the first 10 years after his retirement Robert continued to serve the community and extend his years of knowledge in the New South Wales Police Force by giving evidence at local courts, superior courts, royal commissions and even at a commission held in Canberra. Robert Shepherd rose to the rank of Assistant Commissioner and gave 40 years distinguished service. It is with great pleasure that I honour him today in Parliament.