A visit to the Police Museum

The visit to the Police Museum on 15 April 2014 was one of the history activities organised by Marilla Lowe on behalf of CRVHS. Thanks to Marilla for this report.

15th April 2014:  Wayne McDonald and Neville Mendham at Tasmania Police Museum, Bathurst St Hobart

15th April 2014: Wayne McDonald and Neville Mendham at Tasmania Police Museum, Bathurst St Hobart

Vice-President and Museum Curator, Russ Ames, welcomed members to the Museum which is housed in three rooms in the building occupied by the State Emergency Services in Bathurst Street, Hobart.

The Museum is relatively new, being established about five years ago when a small group of members and former members of Tasmania Police formed an historical group.

A surprising amount of material has been donated to form a very informative display outlining the development of policing in Tasmania since 1803.

The information sheet advises that ‘Firearms and other offensive weapons are not displayed nor does the museum have a “Black Museum” of serious and brutal crimes’.

Items on display include a motorbike from the 1950s, uniforms and many photographs and posters.

The Museum is open from 10.00 am to 12.00 on Tuesdays only. There is no entry fee however donations are appreciated.

Timeline of policing in Tasmania –

  • 1804 Establishment of a civilian night watch in Hobart Town. Disbanded in 1806 due to ‘lack of effectiveness’.
  • 1818 Adolarious Humphrey appointed Magistrate and Superintend of Police.
  • 1857 Appointment of John Forster as the first Inspector of Police and formation of the Municipal Police.
  • 1865 Formation of the Territorial Police
  • 1898 Centralisation of police in Tasmania to form the Tasmanian Police Force, with an overall strength of 246.
  • 1918 Appointment of two female police officers.
  • Early 1940s Phasig out of Horse Troopers in favour of motor cycles.
  • 1951 12-week Probationary Constable course introduced.
  • 1966/67 Breathalyser introduced.
  • 1971 Introduction of Police Cadet training.
  • 1976 Opening of Police Academy at Rokeby.
  • 1978 Appointment of the first female Inspector, Beth Ashlin.
  • 2009 Appointment of first female Commander, Donna Adams. Cmdr Adams was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2011.

(from an information sheet given to visitors to the Police Museum)