Early hat badge, Western Australia Police
WA Police Historical Society
The Police Force of Western Australia began its historical journey on 14 March 1853, when Superintendent (later Commissioner) John Augustus Conroy took up his duties as the officer in charge of a unified police establishment. Conroy left amid controversy and was succeeded by Colonial Secretary Frederick Barlee amid fierce criticism from the press and general outrage. Superintendent William Hogan, a man with extensive military and policing experience, proved a more popular Chief of Police. During his years in office (1861–1866) a new Police Ordinance spelled out the powers and duties of constables and clearly defined the administrative role of the Chief of Police. Hogan himself drafted the Police Rules and Regulations of 1863, drawing on documents from Britain and other colonies. Hogan's document has remained the basis for successive revised editions until modern times.