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.
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.
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.
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 - the first Australian Police officer to be awarded the then highest award for civilian bravery under the Imperial Honours then in force. Constable Michael Pratt, Victoria Police was awarded the the George Cross on 4 July 1978.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Office of the Ombudsman commenced to oversight the investigation of complaints against Police.
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.
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.