26 September 2023

Popular police chief takes over as Governor

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Outgoing Western Australian Police Commissioner, Chris Dawson has been sworn in as the 34th Governor of Western Australia.

His Excellency Mr Dawson becomes the first police officer appointed as the Queen’s Representative in the State.

Mr Dawson (pictured) played a vital role in WA’s pandemic management as the State Emergency Coordinator, working with the Premier, Police Minister and Chief Health Officer to keep the community safe.

His career in law enforcement spanned 46 years and included his 2018 apology to Aboriginal people mistreated by the State’s Police Force, and his commitment to dismantling outlaw motorcycle gangs.

High profile cases solved under Mr Dawson’s watch included the rescue of kidnapped Carnarvon four-year-old, Cleo Smith and the conviction of Claremont killer, Bradley Robert Edwards.

Premier, Mark McGowan said that during the height of the pandemic Mr Dawson worked steadfastly to drive up vaccination rates and protect the community, making an incredibly important contribution as part of the State COVID-19 response.

“His work to heal historic wounds with the Aboriginal community was an incredibly important step for reconciliation in Western Australia,” Mr McGowan said.

Minister for Police, Paul Papalia said Mr Dawson’s legacy was a modern police force which was more effective than ever in keeping the community safe “a police force of which we can all be proud”.

Mr Dawson is succeeded as Police Commissioner by Col Blanch.

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