- In 1789 Governor Phillip established a civilian “police force” of 12 watchmen, recruited from well behaved convicts, to patrol on shore at night time.
- Shortly after, they started patrolling the harbour - due to smugglers and escapees from the settlements – and were known as the Rowboat Guard
- In 1833, a regular Police Force was organised and the Rowboat Guard were first officially described as Water Police and in 1840 a separate water police was established, based at Cadman’s Cottage.
- In 1865 the Water Police headquarters was established at Dawes Point – The Rocks area – where it remained until 1986, when it moved to Pyrmont.
- The Marine Area Command was formed and integrated into the NSW Police Special Services Group in July 1999.
- The headquarters were moved to the current, purpose built facility at Balmain East, in March 2004.
- We are now equipped with a modern fleet of launches including long range vessels with sea going capacity and a number of smaller craft.
- At present we have 124 personnel, including operatives, divers, support staff, detectives, intelligence, marine crime prevention and training.