The NSW Police Force is one of the largest police organisations in the English speaking world. It began as the first civilian police force in Australia, known as the Night Watch, and was formed by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1789 to guard Sydney Town. In 1862, all Watch Teams were combined under the Police Regulation Act 1862 to form the NSW Police Force. That Act was later replaced by the Police Regulation Act 1899.

In June 1987, the NSW Police Force (which had carriage of operations) and the NSW Police Department (which had carriage of policy and administration) were amalgamated. We operate under the Police Act 1990 and the Police Regulations 2008.

Click on the dates below to read about significant events in the history of the NSW Police Force.

Significant Dates

1788 - 1888

1788
With the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove, the initial policing of the colony of NSW was in the hands of the Royal Navy Marines. This role, however, was not one the Marines desired. Governor Arthur Phillip soon after appointed John Smith, a free settler, to the position of Constable. Although he did not remain long in office, Smith became the first recorded Police officer in Australia.

1789
The Night Watch and the Row Boat Guard were appointed by Governor Phillip. These men were drawn from the ranks of the best behaved of the convicts.

The Night Watch were replaced by the Sydney Foot Police in 1790 and continued as an organised force (later known as the Sydney Police) until the amalgamation of all NSW colonial police forces in 1862.

The Row Boat Guard was both an independent Water Police and part of the Sydney Police, and is the forerunner of what is today known as the Marine Area Command.

1803
In 1803, the death of Constable Joseph Luker of the Sydney Foot Police was the first recorded death of a member of the Police in Australia. While patrolling on foot at night in Back Row East, Sydney Town (now Phillip Street Sydney), the Constable was attacked and killed. His body was found the following morning with the guard of his cutlass embedded in his skull. Four offenders later faced court, where three were acquitted (including two fellow Constables) and one was sentenced to death (later commuted when three attempts to hang him failed).

1810 - 1850
Initially in rural areas, Police were appointed by the local Justices of the Peace and became known as Bench Police or "benchers."

In 1825, the Military Mounted Police were formed following clashes between Aboriginals and settlers in the central west, but were disbanded in 1850 in favour of a civilian Mounted Police (also known as the Mounted Road Patrol). These were the forerunners of today’s NSW Mounted Police.

Other colonial police forces included the Border Police (1839 -1846) and the Mounted Native Police (1848 -1859). The various Mounted Troopers in the colony were known colloquially as "traps."

In 1850, the Parliament in Sydney legislated to amalgamate all the various colonial police forces into one force under the superintendence of an Inspector General of Police. A solicitor, William Spain, was appointed as the first Inspector General.

1851 - 1862
With the discovery of gold, the Gold Escort were formed in 1851. In that same year, the Parliament in London disallowed the 1850 colonial legislation to amalgamate colonial police forces, resulting in the various forces remaining as separate entities.

During this period, police from the United Kingdom were offered free passage to NSW in return for three years service as colonial police. These years also saw the rise of the bushranging era.

In 1862, riots on the goldfields at Lambing Flat (near Young) saw police and the military deployed to restore peace and lead to a new push for more effective policing in the colony.

1862
The Police Regulation Act was passed by the colonial Parliament and on 1 March 1862, all existing police forces amalgamated to establish the NSW Police Force under former Army Captain John McLerie as Inspector General.

The Police Force had its headquarters in Phillip Street Sydney, and the colony was divided into districts and sub-districts. There were 800 Policemen at the ranks of Superintendent, Inspector, Sub-Inspector, Sergeant, Senior Constable and Constable. The Force was divided into Foot Police, Mounted Police, Water Police and a Detective Force.

Police in Sydney were not routinely armed although they had access to firearms from the Police Depot. Police in country areas did however carry firearms.

The first death of a member of the new Police Force occurred when Constable William Havilland was accidentally shot at Orange whilst returning from Eugowra Rocks, where he had been guarding the gold escort which had earlier been bailed up by bushrangers.

1867
Special Constables John Carroll, Patrick Kennagh, Eneas McDonnell and John Phegan were secretly sworn in as part of a covert operation to capture bushrangers who had shot and killed Constable Miles O'Grady at Nerrigundah in 1866. The four Special Constables were ambushed at night at Jinden (near Braidwood) and killed. Their deaths represent the largest loss of Police lives in a single incident of this type in Australia. Later that year, the Campbell Commission of Inquiry into the State of Crime in the Braidwood District was established. This was the first Royal Commission type inquiry into the NSW Police.

1889 - 1987

1889 - 1895
In 1894 as a result of the Bridge Street Affray, a number of Police in Sydney were injured while attempting to arrest a group of safe-breakers. Parliament subsequently passed legislation authorising the arming of all members of the NSW Police Force and all Police have carried firearms ever since.

In 1895, the Police Band was formed and it continues to perform and entertain throughout the state.

1903 - 1910
In 1903, the Fingerprint Section was formed. It became the Central Fingerprint Bureau of Australia in 1941, maintaining a nationwide manual collection of fingerprints and criminal records until 1986 when it reverted to a state-based role. It now forms part of the Forensic Services Group.

In 1906, Police Headquarters were relocated to the corner of Phillip and Hunter Streets, Sydney. The Police Depot was relocated from inner city Sydney to Redfern in 1907 and the Mounted Police have been located there ever since. From 1953 to 1984, it was also the main centre for education and training in its role as firstly the Police Training Centre and later the Police Academy.

1911
Ernest Day, a former Mounted Policeman, was appointed Inspector General. Direct descendents of Inspector General Day include Tony Day who was a President of the Police Association of NSW, and former Assistant Commissioner Bob Day. Relatives of both these men have also served in the NSW Police Force.

Also in this year, the first Police Prosecutors were appointed to the Force and appeared in the courts.

1912 - 1915
The first motor vehicle was acquired by the NSW Police Force. It was a Sunbeam roadster and was for the exclusive use of the Inspector General. In 1913, a Douglas motorcycle commenced special traffic duties, and in 1915 a Renault was modified for use as a motorised patrol van.

In 1915, Lillian Armfield and Maude Rhodes were appointed as Special Constables and become the first women in the NSW Police Force. They were not allowed to wear uniform or to carry firearms. It was 1948 before women were allowed to wear uniform, 1965 before they were sworn in as Constables like male officers, and 1979 before they were routinely allowed to carry firearms.

1914 - 1918
Members of the Force volunteered to serve in the Great War, with many paying the ultimate sacrifice. They were commemorated on the Honour Roll at the Sydney Police Centre and on the Wall of Remembrance at the Police Chapel in Goulburn. The war years saw the first major change to uniform, with the military style cap (as still used today) replacing the kepi.

1924 - 1925
The use of wireless with morse code as the means of communication was introduced into a number of police vehicles in 1924. The main base wireless station in Sydney became known by the call-sign VKG in 1927, and by 1928 all police stations were linked to the telephone network.

In 1925, the Public Safety Bureau was formed within the Traffic Branch. This later became the Highway Patrol (HWP) and had responsibility for all traffic law enforcement.

1926
Inspector General James Mitchell, who was appointed in 1915, became formally known as the Commissioner of Police, with the official change of title taking effect.

1927 - 1929
The so-called Razor Gang Wars raged in Sydney with criminals using the straight razor as their weapon of choice. Police put an end to the violence in 1929.

In the same year, the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) was formed from the existing Detective Branch. Today it is known as the State Crime Command.

1933 - 1938
The first 12 Police Cadets commenced training in 1933 and were sworn in as Police officers in 1936. The system of Police Cadets continued until 1980.
In 1933, the Police Choir was formed. Also in that year, the Police Association funded the erection of the original Honour Roll installed at Police Headquarters to commemorate Police who had fallen in the line of duty.

In 1937, the first Police Citizens Boys Club is established at Woolloomooloo. The Police and Community Youth Clubs (PCYC) movement continues to this day. Also in 1937, the radio began to replace morse code as the main form of communication.

In 1938, the NSW Police RSL sub-branch was formed to cater for returned servicemen from the Great War.

1939 - 1945
Policing was declared a reserved occupation during the Second World War. As a result, not many serving Police were released for military duties in Australia and overseas. Those who did serve in the military were commemorated on the Honour Rolls at the Sydney Police Centre and on the Wall of Remembrance at the Police Chapel in Goulburn.

With the threats of invasion from the Japanese, Police undertook many internal security roles in the community and trained with rifles and bayonets.

1942
In 1942, the Police Cliff Rescue Squad was formed. Now known as the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit, it has a permanent base at Zetland and a number of part-time Units around NSW including Cooma, Goulburn, Bathurst, Lismore, and the Illawarra, Blue Mountains, and Hunter regions.

1944 - 1945
In 1945, Special Constables were introduced to regulate parking in Sydney. The Parking Police (also known firstly as "Brown Bombers" and later "Grey Ghosts" from their various uniforms) positions were originally reserved for disabled ex-servicemen.

In 1945, the Force also saw the death of Constable Eric Bailey who was shot at Blaney. Constable Bailey was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant Third Class and awarded the George Cross - remaining the only Australian Police officer to be awarded the then highest award for civilian bravery under the Imperial Honours then in force.

1946 - 1954
In 1946, the Aviation Unit established flying a fixed-wing ex-military aircraft. The Unit was disbanded in 1950 but reformed in 1979 and is now the Aviation Support Branch flying helicopters.

The Police Pipe Band was formed in 1946 as was known as No. 21 Special Squad. This was later known as 21 Division, which was the training ground for the Criminal Investigations Branch for many years until its disbandment.

Also in 1946, there were changes to uniform which saw the introduction of the open tunic and tie. Also, the Australian Police Journal was first published for Police throughout Australia under the auspices of the various Commissioners of Police.

In 1947, the Stock Squad was formed.

1959-1961
The design of the current insignia for the NSW Police Force was adopted in 1959. The Latin motto ‘Culpam poena premit comes’ translates as ‘Punishment swiftly follows crime’. The insignia was not used on the Police uniform until 1972. In 1961 the long-sleeve shirt and tie without the tunic became the summer uniform.

1962
The "Centenary Brochure - New South Wales Police Force 1862 - 1962" was produced and edited by Sergeant Lance Hoban on behalf of Commissioner Norman Allan and issued to all serving members.

In this year, the NSW Police Force comprised of 6139 members - 5336 Policemen, 58 Policewomen, 175 Police Cadets, 5 Police Trackers, 4 Police Matrons, 109 Special Parking Police, 30 Special Constables and 422 Administrative Officers.

1963
Constable First Class Cyril Howe was shot and killed at Oaklands after his pistol jammed. He was able to write his attacker's name in his official notebook before his death. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant Third Class and awarded the Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry. His death lead to the adoption of the Smith & Wesson .38 calibre revolver as the standard Police sidearm in NSW.

1964
Members of the NSW Police were deployed to Cyprus with the United Nations (UN) as peace-keepers - a role which the NSW Police Force continued until 1974. Later NSW Police Force UN deployments included Cambodia, Yugoslavia and East Timor. Two NSW Police have been killed on UN duties.

1964 - 1972
The Vietnam War saw many Police conscripted to serve as part of National Service. They were honoured on the Wall of Remembrance at the Police Chapel in Goulburn. The war and conscription eventually polarised the community and Police clashed with demonstrators as the anti-war and moratorium movements grew.

1972
Inspector Beth Hanley was appointed as the first female commissioned officer in the NSW Police Force.

A new style of uniform was introduced which featured the Police insignia on the shoulder flash and the Sillitoe Tartan (chequered band) on the cap. This uniform remains as the service dress uniform of today.

1974
Cyclone Tracey devastated Darwin and the NSW Police Force were among those who responded from around Australia to bolster the local Police resources.

1977 - 1978
In 1977, the Granville Train Smash resulted in a major rescue operation by Police and other emergency services.

In 1978, a bomb blast outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney resulted in the death of Constable First Class Paul Burmistriw and two city council employees. The regional conference of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was being hosted at the hotel at the time.

1979
The Office of the Ombudsman commenced to oversight the investigation of complaints against Police.

1980
The first honorary Police Chaplains were appointed. Father Jim Boland had been acting unofficially in this role since 1972 and was later appointed the first fulltime Police Chaplain in 1986. He is now a Regional Police Chaplain.

In 1980 the Aboriginal Liaison Unit was formed. This lead to the eventual introduction of Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers (ACLOs) within the NSW Police Force.

1981 - 1984
The 1981 Lusher Commission of Inquiry into NSW Police Administration lead to the introduction of the Police Board in 1984, the same year John Avery was appointed Commissioner. He went on to oversee the reorganisation of the NSW Police Force based on the establishment of patrols within four geographic regions and the introduction of community based policing.

Also in 1984, the Police Academy moved from Redfern to at Goulburn and was later renamed the Police College.

1987
The amalgamation of the NSW Police Force (the operational arm of the organisation) and the NSW Police Department (which dealt with policy and administration) created the current NSW Police Service. This was finalised by the Police Service Act in 1990.

1988 - Present

1988 - 1989
During this period, Police Legacy was formed to care for the families and children of deceased members of the Force. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) was formed with a role in relation to the investigation of complaints against Police. Police were also heavily involved in the rescue operation following the Newcastle Earthquake and during the logging disputes in the south-east forests near Eden.

1990 - 1991
During this time, the Police Chapel and Walls of Remembrance were consecrated at Goulburn. In 1991, Don Wilson from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was appointed to the re-created position of Inspector General alongside Commissioner Tony Lauer. The office lapsed at the end of his tenure. Leather jackets were also introduced as uniform items.

1994 - 1996
In this period, the Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service occurred. This resulted in the introduction of the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) and the appointment of Peter Ryan from the United Kingdom as Commissioner of Police in 1996. The Royal Commission Reports were handed down in 1997.

1995
Senior Constables Peter Addison and Robert Spears were shot and killed at Crescent Head. As a result of these deaths, the Glock self-loading pistol was adopted as the standard sidearm for Police. Bullet resistant vests were also generally made available to operational Police.

1997
In 1997, a restructure of the NSW Police Service lead to 80 Local Area Commands as the focal point of policing within 11 geographic regions, with appropriate Specialist and Corporate commands.

Also during this year, the Memorial Rose Garden in memory of all NSW Police personnel was dedicated at the Police College in Goulburn.

1998 - 1999
In 1998, Detective Senior Constable Allan Sparkes became the first Police Officer to be awarded the highest Australian honour for civilian bravery - the Cross of Valour - for a rescue at Coffs Harbour.

2000 - 2003
The NSW Police Force was highly praised for the security arrangements for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

In 2001, Assistant Commissioner Christine Nixon was appointed the Chief Commissioner of the Victoria Police - becoming the first female Commissioner in Australia. She had joined the NSW Police in 1972 and is the daughter of former Assistant Commissioner Ross Nixon.

In 2002, Ken Moroney was appointed Commissioner of Police. Two of his sons have followed him into policing. The NSW Police Service was renamed the NSW Police Force and referred to as "the Force."

Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists from NSW were deployed to Indonesia in the wake of the 2002 Bali Bombing as part of the overall Australian police response.

In 2003, Police Headquarters relocated to Charles Street, Parramatta.

2004 - 2005
The Redfern Riot (2004) and Macquarie Fields and Cronulla Riots (2005) focused attention on public order policing and multicultural issues in NSW.

DVI specialists from NSW were deployed to Thailand as part of the Australian response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004 - 2005).

2007
On 1 September 2007, Commissioner Andrew Scipione is sworn in as Commissioner of Police.

2010
The Community Awareness of Policing Program (CAPP), a first for law enforcement agencies in Australia, was introduced in NSW. Developed by the NSW Police Force Customer Service Program, CAPP provides leaders of our communities with a unique insight into policing in NSW.

2011
In 2011, the NSW Police Force comprised of 19,518 personnel - consisting of 15,617 police and 3,901 civilian staff servicing a population of 7.25 million.

2013
Senior Constable Karen Lowden is awarded the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) Medal of Valor Award for her role in assisting Madeline Pulver who had been fitted with an ‘explosive collar’.

Juliana Nkrumah AM awarded membership of the Order of Australia for significant service to the community, particularly the welfare of women and refugees. 

2014
NSW Police Force comprises 22,045 employees. Policewomen represent 26.9% of sworn personnel.  Women make up 35% of the Force. 13 policewomen are Superintendents & 2 are SES.

2015
NSW Police Force celebrates 100 years of Women in Policing and 50 years since women were officially ‘sworn in’ as Constables and given the full powers of a police officer.

2017
On 30 March 2017, Commissioner Michael Fuller is sworn in as Commissioner of Police.

History of Women in the NSW Police Force

1915
New South Wales Police Department advertised two positions for female police.  Nearly 500 women applied for the position. Two applicants, Lillian Armfield and Maude Rhodes were chosen and subsequently sworn in as Probationary Special Constables.  Maude Rhodes resigned in 1920 and Lillian Armfield retired after 33 years service in 1949.  The women were required to sign an indemnity releasing the Police Department of any responsibility for their safety and wore civilian clothes, as they were not issued a uniform. Their service was recorded on a separate seniority list until 1965.  They were the first women employed for police duties in the Commonwealth.

1919
Mary Paulett recruited.  Lillian Armfield promoted to Special Constable First Class.

1920
Maude Rhodes resigns.

1921
Nellie Mooney recruited. Police Association is formed.

1922
Strength increased to four women with the recruitment of Nellie Kathleen Mitchell.

1925
Ursula Freda Meenaghan appointed as first female shorthand-writer and typist to Police Department.

1927
Mary Madden recruited. The main base wireless station in Sydney became known by the call sign VKG.

1929
Strength increased to eight women police with the recruitment of Ellen Bennett, Rose Cuneen and Eva Rosser. 

1932

Margaret Jeffrey joined the Police as a Special Constable, and remained in the job for 24 years. 

1941
As a result of wartime difficulties in recruiting men, there was a further increase in strength from eight to fourteen women police.  Over 500 women responded to advertisements for policewomen.  Six women were selected: Rita Collins, Coralie Lucas, Catherine McRae, Nancy Morgan, Ita Taylor and Joan Weaver (who would later become Officer in Charge of the Women Police Office).

Two Policewomen: Rita Collins and Eva Rosser transferred to Newcastle.

1943
Six women temporarily recruited to aid the Health Department locate people suffering from venereal disease.

1945
In 1945, Special Constables were introduced to regulate parking in Sydney. The Parking Police (also known firstly as "Brown Bombers" and later "Grey Ghosts" from their various uniforms) positions were originally reserved for disabled ex-servicemen.

1946
Premier McKell approves increase in strength of women police to thirty six.  Women that had been employed temporarily were made permanent employees.

1947
Twenty six years after the formation of the Police Association, women police are granted membership as Special Constables.  Special Sergeant (First Class) Lillian Armfield awarded the Kings Police and Fire Service Medal for distinguished service, the first woman in the British Empire to receive this distinction.

First female Office Assistants Mary Honora Batch, Marie Joan Bergin and Joyce Marie Quinn appointed to Police Department on 1 November.  

1948
Commissioner McKay trials two women, Amy Millgate and Gladys Johnson, at the Traffic Branch.  The women develop their own uniform, based on military uniform with a male police cap.

1949
There were now thirty one women in the Women Police Office.  Twelve women were transferred into the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), four to divisions and others to traffic.  Lillian Armfield retires as Special Sergeant First Class, receiving no remuneration on retirement.

1950
First Junior Clerk, Rosie Hazel Cumines, and first female Clerk, Joyce Elizabeth Shaw, appointed on 15 May to Administration and Correspondence. 

1951
School Lecturing Branch formed under the Traffic Branch.  All women recruits now commence at the Traffic Branch, then move into plainclothes work as vacancies arise.

1955
Two women police, Patricia Stuart and Joan Banner, transferred to Wollongong.

1957
First migrant woman, Joanna Suchy, was recruited.  First certified woman police driver, Special Constable Patricia Clancy.

1958
Fifty women in NSW Police Force.  For the first time, the two women from the class of 1958, Janice Mossfield and Noellie Hobart are permitted to participate in the passing out parade with their 53 male counterparts.

1959
Women police undertake initial, intermediate and secondary training conducted alongside male counterparts, but this did not include any physical training, swimming or pistol practice. 

1961
Departmental decision taken to permit women to remain in employment by the NSW Police Department after marriage.

1962
Centenary of the New South Wales Police Force. 

1964
Marilyn Walton joins New South Wales Police Force on 17 August (and retired June 2002). Marilyn was one of the oldest long serving clerical officers in the Force. 

1965
58 women of various ranks sworn into the New South Wales Police Force as regular officers (under the Police Regulation Women Police Amendment Act No. 64 or 1964) with full police powers, other employment conditions and entitlements.  Women police given separate registered numbers to male police, establishing a separate seniority system for women police.  Alice Elizabeth Hanley given the registered number 3. Women police now known as Policewoman in place of Special.  This came about on the 18th March, 1965.

50 Years of women being employed in the New South Wales Police Force undertaking policing duties.

1966
Del Fricker and a number of policewomen commended by the Commissioner for their role in the apprehension of two armed offenders, Ronald Ryan and Peter Walker who were wanted for escaping from lawful custody and murder.

1967
Del Fricker receives British Empire Medal for her involvement in the 1963 arrest of a violent offender wanted for rape.

1968
NSW Police Force now employs 70 female ‘special constables’.

1970
Three women police, Senior Constables Nerida Keeley, Gwen Martin and Jill Frazer obtain their Diploma in Criminology from Sydney University.  Del Fricker is awarded the WD & HO Wills Trophy for most outstanding Policewoman.

The first intake of female clerks occurred in January. Lesley Ann White commenced at the Ballistics Unit, Forensics Unit in the old Criminal Investigations Branch. 

1971
Del Fricker and Gwen Martin accepted into the Detectives Training Course, later to become the first women detectives.  Policewomen lobby the NSW Police Association for more direct representation to improve their position within the Police Force through the establishment of a Women’s Branch but are rejected.  Lillian Armfield dies aged 87 years.

Robyn Hargrave joins the NSWPF as a Class B Clerk in the Lismore District. Now the Local Area Manager of Shoalhaven LAC,  Robyn is one of the longest serving female clerks in the Force.

1972
First female Commissioned Officer at the Women Police Office, Inspector Alice Elizabeth (Beth) Hanley, at 29 years service.  Beth Hanley is awarded the ‘Most Outstanding Policewoman’.

1973
Gwen Martin is awarded the ‘Most Outstanding Policewoman’.  A women’s branch is established within the NSW Police Association.  Del Fricker is the inaugural President and Carol Tubnor inaugural Secretary.

Doreen Peters joins as the first Aboriginal female employed by the NSWPF and the first Aboriginal Public Servant. Doreen retired on 16 June 2011 after serving 38 years with the Police. 

1974
Policewomen become eligible by statute to sit for promotional examinations.  Policewomen Barbara Galvin and Jacqueline Milledge transferred on probation to the Police Prosecuting Branch.  Women detectives issued with firearms.

1975
Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, 60 years of Women in Policing.  Communication to Commissioner Hanson from the Premier that the NSW Police Force will be required to comply with the International Labour Organisation Covenant signed by the Commonwealth.  The Commissioner established a committee to examine aspects of this covenant, which aimed at discouraging discrimination especially in relation to women.  The committee reported back to the Commissioner in 1976, recommending and reinforcing status quo.  Maternity Leave granted by the Premier of NSW to policewomen after strong campaigning by the NSW Police Association on behalf of women police.  Policewoman Dianne Bennett (Gould) was the first woman to receive maternity leave benefits (back dated). 

The NSW Police Association successfully proposes to the Commissioner that policewomen be integrated into the promotional system. 

Handcuffs issued to policewomen.  First policewoman attached to the Scientific Investigation Section, Cathy Brown.  Del Fricker promoted to Detective Inspector Third Class.

1976
Beth Hanley awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.  Four women transferred to general duties on trial basis: Claire Britton to Mascot Airport police, Christine Nixon, Christine Ridley and Margaret White to Darlinghurst Police Station.  Newly sworn policewomen were provided with integrated registered numbers.  Inspector Del Fricker appointed Officer in Charge, Women Police Office.

1977
NSW Parliament passes the Anti-Discrimination Act.  Del Fricker awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal.

1978
112 women police in the NSW Police Force.  Women’s Co-ordination Unit report to the Premier, ‘The employment position of women police in New South Wales Police Force’ blasts the departmental committee report position of women in policing and recommends better training, integration and affirmative action for women in policing.  Commencement of integration into male ranks for all non-commissioned officers.  Women integrated in the seniority list (Completed in 1981).

1979
Firearms become standard issue for all policewomen.  Gwen Martin is the first female appointed to the Executive of the NSW Police Association.  Jill Frazer is awarded ‘Policewoman of the Year’ for bravery when assaulted whilst arresting an offender which ultimately resulted in the amputation of her left leg and her subsequent death.  Women provided with the same training as men, same selection criteria for Detectives Training Course.

1980
Both the quota system for female officers and the policy of non-acceptance of married women were abolished from the NSW Police Force following a complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Board by Virginia Carr.

First policewoman attached to the Police Air Wing as an observer, Constable Christine Simpson. First policewoman appointed to the Highway Patrol, Constable Jennifer Sheehy in December at Goulburn (country).

Linda Ebsworth commenced duty at Bourke as the first female Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (ACLO) appointed. 

1981
Disbanding of Women Police Office at CIB. Classification of Woman Police Officer removed and women were transferred to a variety of duties.  Women’s Branch of the Police Association abolished.  Second policewomen appointed to the Highway Patrol, Constable Julie Richardson (metropolitan). Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Branch established at PHQ.

1982
Now 307 women officers in the NSW Police Force, representing 3.3% of police strength.  First Aboriginal Policewoman, Sandra May. Spokeswomen’s Network Program established by the NSW Premiers Department, and the Police Force establishes a Spokeswomen’s Network.  First policewoman attached to the Mounted Police, Constable Janet McGillivray.

1983
First Policewoman Highway Patrol Cyclist, Constable Val Bryant.

1984
720 women in the NSW Police Force. First female General Duties Inspector, Patricia Hynds.  First female Inspector (country), Ruth Styles at Warilla. Introduction of first stage of merit based promotion.  First policewoman certified as a Police Diver, Constable Lisa Ford.  First Policewoman certified as a Police Rescue Squad operator, Constable Sally Verhage. T

First civillian Ethnic Liaison Officer, Leela Smith, was appointed to the NSW Community Relations Bureau. 

1985
NSW Police Force celebrates 70 years of Women in Policing.

The First Criminal Intelligence Analyst Training  Course was conducted from 11-22 November. Ms Diane Elphinstone was the only female on the course, which was designed to teach students to integrate and analyse information through a series of techniques which permitted the analysed results to be used as a practical tool to fight organised crime.

1986
Recruiting height restrictions removed. First Policewoman assigned to the Water Police, Constable Lisa Ford.

1988
Part-time maternity leave trialled by 5 women police in metropolitan and country areas. 1000th female office sworn in at the NSW Police Academy, Goulburn.  First female Patrol Commander, Inspector Bev Lawson, at Engadine.

1989
Now 1,293 women in the Police Service, representing 10.1% of police strength. First female Superintendent, Bev Lawson, Patrol Commander, Wollongong. 

1990
Second woman appointed to the Executive of the NSW Police Association, Bernadette Dubois.  Taskforce established to review Sex Based Harassment.  Commissioner’s Taskforce on the Status of Women and Minority Groups.

1992
Anti-Discrimination Board inquiry into discrimination during pregnancy hears evidence from women police.  Sue Alexander appointed to the Executive of the NSW Police Association.

Physical requirements for recruiting change and the height of the wall is reduced allowing more women to enter the Police Force.

1993
First female Chief Superintendent and District Commander, Bev Lawson, at Cumberland District.  Marea Rayment sponsored by the NSW Police Association to attend the International Policewomen’s conference in Canada. Lola Scott appointed as the first female Patrol Tactician at Redfern in January, 1993.

1994
Christine Nixon appointed as the first female Assistant Commissioner in New South Wales.  Seven women attend the NSW Police Association Biennial conference as delegates.  First woman in the Dog Squad (tops course), Constable 1/C Debbie Lee. Implementation of Permanent Part- Time work.

For the first time two women are appointed to the Executive of the NSW Police Association, Elizabeth (Beth) Stirton and Marea Rayment.  First all female Appeal Board at the Government Related Employees Appeal Tribunal (GREAT). The GREAT members are: Elizabeth Stirton (Police Association representative), Cynthia McCloughan (Police Force representative and Patricia Lynch (Chair). Lola Scott becomes the first female Detective Chief Superintendent when she was appointed Commander, Internal Affairs.

1995
1,719 women in the Police Service, representing 13.1% of police strength. Seven women occupy Commissioned Rank positions (Christine Nixon, Barbara Galvin, Narelle Willis, Cynthia McCloughan, Bev Lawson, Caroline Smith & Lola Scott). 80 years of Women in Policing in New South Wales.  

1997
Detective Chief Superintendent Lola Scott is the first female appointed as a Region Commander.  Bev Lawson is the first female appointed as a Deputy Commissioner in NSW. Restructuring of the Police Service occurs and 80 Local Area Commands are created.

2000

Jan Griffiths retires as the last Matron on 17 July, following 36 years of service.

Ann Blackler, Jennifer Dyball and Jodie Hamilton became the first 3 NSW Police Force female officers to be seconded to the United Nations to serve as 'Civillian Police/Peacekeepers' in East Timor. 

2001
Christine Nixon is appointed as the first female Police Commissioner in Australia and Victoria’s 19th Police Commissioner on 23rd April, 2001 at the age of 47.

First intake of civilian Scene of Crime Officers (SOCOs) which included female civilians Jennifer Raymond and Nicole Greenway. 

Bron Steel became the first female Senior Rural Crime Policy and Program Officer. 

2002
With the passing of Bev Lawson in 1998 and the departure of Christine Nixon, there are no female Assistant or Deputy Commissioners and only 5 women are in charge of Local Area Commands. 

First female Rural Crime Investigator appointed. 

2005
NSW Police Force celebrates 90 years of Women in Policing.

The Behavioural Science Team was created and Sarah Yule was appointed as Forensic Psychologist/Manager. It was the first position of its kind in an Australian state or territory police force, being a fulltime psychologist position providing expertise for criminal investigations and other police operations.  

2006
Commissioner Ken Moroney announces a new award to recognise women and men who work to improve policing for women.  The Commissioners Perpetual Award for the Advancement of Women in Policing acknowledges initiatives, activities or projects that promote the standing of women in the organisation.

The inaugural winners are the “90 Years of Women in Policing in NSW Committee”, who organised the celebrations in 2005.

Lynette Nelson was awarded the first female Public Service Medal. 

2007
Christine Ronalds SC finalises the “Ronalds Report” into sexual harassment, intimidation and bullying of female officers in the NSW Police Force.  The report makes a number of recommendations for improvement.

Nicole Rose PSM became the Director of the Office of the NSW Police Commissioner, one of the most senior female roles in the NSWPF. 

2010
The Community Awareness of Policing Program (CAPP), a first for law enforcement agencies in Australia, was introduced in NSW. Developed by the NSW Police Force Customer Service Program, CAPP provides leaders of our communities with a unique insight into policing in NSW and is sponsored by Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn.

2011
In 2011, the NSW Police Force comprised of 19,518 personnel - consisting of 15,617 police and 3,901 civilian staff.  Policewomen represent 24% of employees.  There are 12 female Superintendents and 2 females in SES positions (Catherine Burn and Carlene York). 

Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn is named the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year. Clair Hodge is appointed to one of the most senior female roles in the NSWPF and heads the Office of General Counsel. NSWPF women featured in NSW Government publication 'Breaking Through'.

2012
NSW Police Force Leadership Directorate conducts the inaugural Women’ Leadership Program for 20 sworn (Inspector) and civilian (Grade 9/10) female personnel.  

2013
Senior Constable Karen Lowden is awarded the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) Medal of Valor Award for her role in assisting Madeline Pulver who had been fitted with an ‘explosive collar’.

Juliana Nkrumah AM awarded membership of the Order of Australia for significant service to the community, particularly the welfare of women and refugees. 

2014
NSW Police Force comprises of 22, 045 employees. Policewomen represent 26.9% of sworn personnel.  Women make up 35% of the Force. 13 policewomen are Superintendents & 2 are SES.

2015
NSW Police Force celebrates 100 years of Women in Policing and 50 years since women were officially ‘sworn in’ as Constables and given the full powers of a police officer.