THE NAVAL POLICE
The formation of the Naval Police occurred on the 1st July 1913, when
the Royal Naval Establishments in the Sydney area were handed over to
the Royal Australian Navy.
The branch was at
that time known as the Naval Dockyard Police and had been established
to relieve the Royal Marine Light Infantry members who had carried out
the guarding and Policing duties at Garden Island, Spectacle Island
and the Royal Edward Victualling yard since 1867. And, as the Commonwealth
Government had acquired the Cockatoo Island Dockyard from the N.S.W.
Government on the 31 January 1913, it was also decided to have Naval
Dockyard Police also take over from the six civilian Special Constables
who had been employed by the NSW Public Works Department.
Although it had
been decided, as early as the 18 May 1911, to form a 'Special Police
Force' of the Permanent Naval Forces to relieve the Royal Marines, it
was not until the 8 May, 1913, that the Minister for Defence.- Senator
Pearce - approved formation of the `NAVAL POLICE FORCE' with a complement
of forty members.
On 13 May 1913,
the first of a series of advertisements appeared in all the major daily
newspapers throughout Australia, inviting members of the Royal Navy,
Royal Marines and the Royal Australian Navy to apply for the new `Force'.
are invited from persons qualified for appointment as NAVAL POLICE at
HMA Naval Establishments, Sydney.
must not be less than 30 nor more that 45 years of age on 1 July 1913.
will be given to married men who have completed not less than five years
service in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, or the Royal Australian Navy.
must be made on the prescribed forms which may be obtained, together
with full particulars as to rate of pay, conditions of appointment,
etc; on application to the District Naval Officer, Naval Staff Office
(in the State of application).
must be sent direct to the Naval Secretary, Navy Office, Melbourne,
to reach him not later than 9th June, 1913'.
Prior to the enrolment
of the successful applicants the title of the Force was changed to that
of `NAVAL DOCKYARD POLICE'. This came about at the request of the Captain-in-Charge
HM Establishments, Sydney, Captain C.F. HENDERSON, RN, who stated that:
"In view of the fact that the Active Service Police employed onboard
HM ships are termed `Naval Police, it would appear to be more suitable
to class the newly formed Corps under some other name, such as `Dockyard
Police'. And as the Active Service Police apparently suffered an unsavoury
reputation; in fact, Admiral Creswell personally stated he had `the
strongest objection to anything that savours of the ship's police';
the Naval Board, on 4 June 1913, approved the title `NAVAL DOCKYARD
As the formation
of the Force had not been given a great deal of consideration between
1911 and May of 1913, very little time was available to develop a satisfactory
uniform and an adequate set of conditions of service. So for the sake
of expediency, the Naval Board accepted the recommendation of the Director
of Naval Accounts, Honourary Fleet Paymaster A. MARTIN, that the Naval
Dockyard Police conditions of service, including pay, be aligned with
those of the RAN Academic and Instructional Staff and that the uniform
of the N.S.W. Water Police be adopted. However, as no uniforms were
available as at 1 July 1913, the branch began its service in civilian
clothing wearing Naval Police armlets until they were subsequently supplied
From the inception
of the Force, all members were placed on a six-month probationary period,
including the appointed Sub-Inspector, Mr Albert Jesse Merry. Mr Merry's
immediate task was to select his Senior Constables and Sergeants who
would supervise the personnel and functions at each of the establishments.
In this matter, he chose former Royal Marines who were familiar with
the various Acts and Regulations applicable to the Naval Establishments
and who were capable of ensuring they were carried out. The majority
of these selected members proved very satisfactory and continued in
service for many years.
The same could not,
however, be said for many of the other inaugural members. Over fifty
percent of the initial Constables had to be 'weeded' out because of
unsuitability and unsatisfactory performances
A classic example of this unsuitability and the manner in which Mr.
Merry `weeded' them out, is that of Constable Everett.
had joined the Force on 1 July 1913, and was discharged unsuitable in
August 1913. Two months after his discharge, it was discovered that
he was responsible for the theft of certain Government Stores. Sub-Inspector
Merry subsequently investigated the matter, traced Mr Everett's whereabouts
to Brisbane and travelled there to effect his arrest. Sub-Inspector
Merry was then able to recover the whole of the stolen property; brought
Everett to Sydney and prosecuted him with the result that he was sentenced
to two-years imprisonment.
There were many
other major concerns that effected the development of the Force in its
early years and were to have far reaching ramifications in its later
history. Among these was the dubious legal status of the Force. As civilian
employees of the Royal Australian Navy, they had no legal authority
to detain and search any person employed in the various establishments.
This situation was
not long in being brought to the attention of the Naval Board, for on
22 July 1913, the Executive of the Ironworkers Union lodged a complaint
about their members being searched by Naval Dockyard Police.
As members of the
Force had no legislated powers whatsoever, these early complaints were
resolved by the Naval Board entering into an agreement with the Union
that searches would be conducted only of a person suspected of having
committed an offence and that the search should be conducted in a private
area out of the view of the public gaze. This agreement was subsequently
incorporated in the 'Instructions for Naval Dockyard Police' in 1914,
which were issued with the authority of the Naval Board.
Although this measure
enabled the Force to administer local orders and instructions applicable
to each establishment, it offered no real police powers to arrest an
offender or any power that was recognised by Law. Therefore, the Naval
Board set about trying to remedy the situation and obtain specific powers
legislated for the Force. However, before this was ultimately achieved,
the First World War had begun and the matter fell into abeyance.
The First World
War was also to create several problems that would change the direction
of the Force in years to come. The first of these matters was the need
to provide additional guards at an increasing number of Naval Establishments
and associated works and, at the same time, provide a counter-espionage
service that could carry out secret investigations into such concerns
as sabotage and the location of alien agents. Hence, the Naval Board
determined that the Royal Australian Naval Brigade members who were
unfit for active service would provide the additional guarding services.
The task of counter-espionage fell on the Naval Dockyard Police. In
the main, because Sub-Inspector Merry was an experienced Detective formerly
of the Metropolitan Police.
In the field of
'secret service detective' work, Mr. Merry, proved a great success;
not only through his own investigations but also in his effective training
of other Naval Dockyard Policemen for the duty. This is highlighted
in a letter written by Commodore C.F. HENDERSON on the 30 May 1916,
where he stated: "He has also carried out numerous special investigations
and secret service detective work, with very prompt and successful results".
Since these early investigations, the Force has been responsible for
the investigation of offences in the RAN.
Because the Force
was still a civilian unit, without any conditions of employment, many
of the early members seeking to 'do their bit for the Empire' simply
walked out and enlisted in either the AIF or the RAN. As some of these
members had not sought permission to enlist for active service, they
were posted as deserters. One of those listed, as a deserter was the
former CONSTABLE F.G. TURNER.
Turner had joined
the 1st Battalion of the AIF on 17 August 1914. Prior to his departure
for Gallipoli, he wrote direct to the Minister for Defence seeking a
leave of absence. However, as he had already been enlisted in the AIF
the application was not approved. He subsequently served at Gallipoli
and in France, was wounded four times, promoted through every rank to
that of Regimental Sergeant Major, awarded the Meritorious Service Medal
for gallantry and offered a Commission in the Field.
He was subsequently
demobilised on his return to Australia on 15 April 1919, and immediately
applied to re-enter the Naval Dockyard Police. This began what was to
be a very long and emotional charged effort that involved the Prime
Minister, half a dozen Ministers and the Naval Board in determining
whether Turner had any right to re-enter, and furthermore highlighted
the need to formalise the conditions of service for the Force. In the
meantime, Turner continued to write to anyone, willing to listen or
otherwise, claiming he had been victimised and should be re-entered.
He continued these efforts until early 1932 when the old war-horse finally
gave it all away.
After WWI, when
the Nation was settling back into a more stable existence the problems
of legal status of the Force again raised its head. Yet no effective
resolution was found until the Naval Dockyard Police were appointed
to the Flinders Naval Depot in 1921.
Prior to its commissioning on the 1 April 1921, over 800 rowdy workmen
had been employed at the Base and because of their mischievous behaviour
the Victorian Police established a permanent Police Station there. When
the Victoria Policemen were relieved at the Base by Naval Dockyard Policemen,
an arrangement was entered into between the Naval Board and the Chief
Commissioner Sir John Gellibrand, whereby the three members of the NDP
all became supernumerary members of the Victoria Police. As a consequence,
Senior Constable Thomas Blake, Constable Alfred Daly and Constable Patrick
Sweeney, all became Constables of the Victoria Police Force on 25 August
1921, with all the powers and privileges of a full member of the State
SNRCONST Thomas Blake
Commodore -in-Charge, Sydney, saw this move as the answer to all the
earlier problems relating to legal status and the lack of powers that
the Force had suffered since its inception in 1913, and made application
to allow him to approach the Commissioner of the NSW Police Department
to have all members of the Force made Special Constables of the NSW
Police. On 1 November 1921, all Naval Dockyard Police in the Sydney
area were sworn in and issued their Warrant Card as members of the State
Police, which gave them powers of' arrest, search and detention under
the various State Acts and Regulations.
When Sir John Gellibrand
was replaced as the Chief Commissioner of the Victoria Police in 1923,
his relief, Mr. A. Nicholson was not willing to maintain the three NDP
members at CERBERUS as supernumeraries and on the 30 June 1923, they
were discharged from the Victoria Police. It probably had a lot to do
with the fact that the Victoria Government had been required to pay
the wages of the three N.D. Policemen. Because of the breakdown in this
arrangement, Commander C. Spurgeon, Head of Navy Branch, was directed
by the Naval Board to investigate an alternative. His proposal was to
enter into the Permanent Naval Forces (Auxiliary Services) which would
not only establish the Force on a permanent footing with more equitable
conditions of service, but would also give them authority under the
Naval Defence Act. The Naval Board approved the proposal and the Force
ceased to be a civilian organisation on 31 August 1923, when they entered
the Auxiliary Services of the RAN.
With the entry into
the PNF, many amendments were required to the- Consolidated Orders and
Regulations, Naval Finance Regulations, Naval Defence Act and the like.
It was during these many changes that it was proposed the Force be given
its own Statutory powers of arrest, search and detention. And after
the matter had been given some considerable debate by the Attorney Generals
department, the Naval Establishment Regulation 101 received Royal Assent
on 26 July 1934. This Regulation literally made the Naval Dockyard Police
a Statutory Force with powers that have remained as powerful today as
they were fifty years ago.
Apart from variations
to rates of pay and several other financial aspects, no further changes
occurred to the Force until the outbreak of World War II, when changes
began to occur at an unperceivable rate.
As the responsibility
for guarding Naval establishments during WWI had fallen on the Reserves,
the same task was given to the RANR and the RANVR at the outbreak of
WW 11. However, it quickly became apparent that these personnel, who
were, in most cases, young seamen; were a misuse of fit potential fighting
manpower. So on 10 February 1940, the Minister for the Navy placed a
proposal before the War Cabinet that the existing Naval Dockyard Police
should be temporarily expanded to form a Guard Section for the provision
of security protection to Naval Establishments and vulnerable points
whilst under war conditions.
On 21 March 1940,
the War Cabinet approved the formation the Naval Dockyard Police (Guard
Section) with an initial complement of 169 to serve in all States except
The conditions of
entry for the Guard Section was that recruits were to have served on
Active Service, or for not less than five years man's time in peace,
and not to be less than 40 years of age or more than 58 years of age.
Retiring age was set at 60 years of age and each engagement was for
two years or for the period of hostilities and 6 months thereafter.
All members were recruited within the State they were to serve in and
although their pay and allowances were aligned with the Commonwealth
Peace Officers' scale, they were subject to the Naval Discipline Act
and Regulations for the Auxiliary Services.
Recruiting for the
Guard Section began immediately and as newly recruited members began
their service a serious anomaly in the pay structure became obvious.
On the scale set down for the Guard Section, their Senior Constables
were receiving less pay then Constables of the Permanent Section. So,
on 15th May 1940, the situation was rectified by altering the rank structure
Sergeant 1st Class
Sergeant 2nd Class
Constable 1st Class
Constable 2nd Class
This basic rank
structure remained in force until 21 January 1972, when the Warrant
Officer and Senior Constable ranks were introduced.
As Australia's war
effort accelerated, so did the development of the Force. Within 18 months
of war's commencement the Naval Dockyard Police complement had risen
to 472, with the following disposition:
Sydney and Newcastle
Western Australia 160
At the peak of the
war effort, the Force had a strength exceeding 600 members who were
employed on guarding duties at Wireless Transmitting Stations, Armament
Depots, Oil Fuel Installations, Dockyards, Naval Stores Depots and even
points of vulnerability like the Victoria Markets.
Block, Garden Island Dockyard, Circa 1947
At the war's end, very few of the Guard Section personnel were demobilised
as the Naval Board had not determined a policy for the future guarding
of Naval Establishments. Hence, members were requested to re-engage
for further periods of either 6 or 12 months until the Force could be
re-organised on a permanent basis. However, the Government did not approve
the Naval Board's recommendations concerning the re-organisation of
the Force until December 1948, and the Guard Section members were retained
until 1 January 1949, when demobilisation actually began, although many
were able to remain in service until November 1950.
Prior to the disbandment
of the Guard Section, an "Interim Force" was established on
29 July 1946. This Force was established to replenish the Permanent
Force which had fallen to a total of 9 members at the war's end and
three of those were due for retirement before February 1947. The Interim
Force had an approved complement of 272 and its members were recruited
from ex-RAN members of the Seagoing Forces who were aged between 21
and 45 years of age, thereby creating a more virile and active deterrent
to `Black Marketeers and other ill-disposed persons'.
The excellent results
of the Interim Force personnel effectively meant the continuance of
the Naval Dockyard Polite as part of the PAN and established a standard
of protection of Naval Establishments and Installations that the Government
could ill-afford to lose. Hence, the re-organised Permanent Force of
the Naval Dockyard Police was approved on 1 March 1949, with a complement
One Inspector NSW
Three Sub-inspectors NSW, WA, VIC
point here is that the Superintendent's position was filled by Commander
N.H. Shaw, RAN. Commander Shaw had, immediately prior to his appointment
as Superintendent, been the Commanding Officer of HMAS KUTTABUL and
had headed the Naval Board Committee on the 'Re-organisation of Naval
Dockyard Police' which met on 3 July 1946 and recommended the establishment
of the Superintendent position. The other interesting point is that
he was the first `Gold-ring' officer to have been appointed directly
to the Naval Dockyard Police of Naval Police officer ranks.
With the establishment
of the post-war Naval Dockyard Police, on a permanent footing, the branch
settled down to a steady existence, generally devoid of major turmoil
that affected the branch structure. Although a number of changes to
uniform, complement and pay rates occurred after the war, it was not
until 21 January 1972, that any major change to the Force's structure
occurred. It was on this date that the Force became a branch of the
RAN and thereby no longer existed as part of the Auxiliary Services.
It was also at this time that history had turned full circle and the
branch again was retitled 'Naval Police'. It was also at this time the
ranks of Warrant Officer and Senior Constable were introduced.
At this time the
Naval Police branch had a complement of 16 officers and 366 Police members
and were employed in Physical Security, Fire Protection and Investigational
Functions in the following establishments:
ACT Navy Office
NSW Garden Island
Naval Stores Randwick
RAN Trials Assessing Unit
RAN Research Laboratory
RAN Torpedo Maintenance Establishment
Naval Stores Leichardt
HMAS ALBATROSS (Dog Squad)
VIC HMAS CERBERUS
Williamstown Naval Dockyard
Naval Stores Maribyrnong
WA HMAS STIRLING
QLD HMAS MORETON
NT HMAS COONAWARRA
Newington, NP Office, Circa 1949
On 10 January 1983,
the first three females from the WRANS transferred to the Naval Police
Cockatoo Island Contingent
The Cockatoo Island
Dockyard was taken over from the NSW Government by the Commonwealth
on 31 January 1913, and renamed the Commonwealth Naval Dockyard.
At the time of the
Commonwealth Governments acquisition of the Cockatoo Island Dockyard
there existed six `Special Constables' who were employed by the NSW
Government and were responsible for the physical protection and general
policing of Cockatoo Island dockyard. In addition to these six Special
Constables there were, at the time, another two employees who acted
as relieving Constables.
In March 1913, the
Director of Naval Accounts visited Sydney to negotiate the transfer
of the Island's Special Constables to the Staff of the Commonwealth
Government. His recommendation to the Naval Board was that the complement
for the Naval Dockyard consist of one Senior Constable and six Constables
and that the six Special Constables be taken over at their current rate
of pay of 156 pounds per annum.
Subsequent to the
Minister for Defence's approval for the Naval Police Force to be formed,
the Naval Board formally invited the six Special Constables to apply
for appointment to the Naval Police Branch.
Below is a reproduction
of that invitation;
Commonwealth Naval Dockyard
COCKATOO ISLAND N.S.W.
reference to the six Special Constables at present employed at Cockatoo
Island, applications have been invited in the public press from persons
qualified for appointment as Naval Police.
the six Special Constables are desirous of appointment as Naval Police
under the conditions laid down, they should make application on the
enclosed forms. They should also state on the forms that they are at
present employed as Special Constables at Cockatoo Island.
to your recommendation, which should be endorsed on each application
form, it is proposed to appoint them as Naval Police from 1st July at
their existing salary of 156 pounds per annum, as a special case. (the
qualifications required by advertisement being waived in their case).
They would be rated as Constables on first appointment, but eligible
In response to this invitation, the following personnel applied:
William Grant LUNAM
Charles Henry BENNETT
were accompanied with the following recommendations of the Acting General
Boyle is a man
I can speak very highly of, and he has acted on many occasions as Relieving
constable. Reference to his application will show that he was a member
of the Govan Police Force for 10 years.
this man is at present working on the Island, having been previously
employed as a 3rd Class Warder, leaving the Prisons Department in 1907.
Although I have not come in personal contact with Bennet, his Foreman
- Mr Scott, gives him an excellent character.
It would be necessary
to appoint at least seven (7) Constables, as one would be required practically
for relieving duty whilst the other was on leave, and at such times
as he would not be required as Constable, he would be working on the
Island as a general labourer.
As regards to the
seven names submitted, I wish to draw attention to that of J. Banks.
This man is 59 years of age and although he has fulfilled his duties
satisfactorily, according to your regulations it would appear that he
is too old for appointment, 57 being the retiring age.
If it is decided
that Banks cannot be employed there would then only remain six (6) Constables,
so that we should have to appoint one other as Relieving Constable.
I might mention
that we have a Constable here who has been on the Island for many years
- J. Pender, but he is on the permanent staff of the N.S.W. Public Works
Dept., and does not wish to be transferred.
I would also like
to draw attention to the application of Samuel Orr. A reference to his
papers will show that he is a man of splendid physique, and has been
employed on the Island for the past three years, during which period
his Services have been most highly satisfactory.
He writes an excellent report, and a reference to his handwriting will
show that he has seemingly had an education considerably higher that
the general run, and I believe, personally that this man would fill
the position of Sergeant in a highly satisfactory manner.
As regards Messrs
Lunam, Barr, and Harris, they are all physically fine men, and have
carried out their duties satisfactorily possibly, of the three Barr
is the best man, but taking them generally, the whole of the men on
the list submitted would take a lot of beating.
These Special Constables
had been employed by the NSW Government and remained on their payroll
until 1 July 1913, even though the Commonwealth had taken over the Dockyard
on 31 January 1913. Whilst in the employment of the NSW Government,
the Special Constables conditions of service, gratuitous issue of uniforms,
shift routines and uniform styles were aligned with those of the NSW
Water Police. These became the basis upon which the Naval Police branch
was ultimately formed and is also the reason for the continuing close
ties with the NSW Police Force.
Hence, the historical
importance of these six Special Constables in the development of the
Naval Police branch is obvious. Although only civil employees, these
Constables were sworn in and wore the same uniform as temporary members
of the NSW Water Police. This fact played a major part in the development
of the branch and the wearing of a uniform that remained distinct, at
that time, from any other Naval uniform.
It is of interest
that from the branches' inception in 1913, through until 1939, there
were only ever two Officer-in-Charge. The first was Sub-Inspector Albert
Jesse MERRY, who had been recruited in the United Kingdom where he was
a Detective in the Metropolitan Police. He resigned on 1 July 1916,
in order to enlist in the active service in the United Kingdom. However,
on reaching Vancouver, he found that women and children were not allowed
passage across the Atlantic Ocean, so he joined the Canadian Armed Forces
as a private in the Army Intelligence Branch where he was employed on
full-time 'secret-service' work. Within 6 months he had attained the
rank of Sergeant. In mid 1917, he was seconded to set up the Canadian
Military Police to which he subsequently transferred to with the rank
of Staff Sergeant.
The second Sub-Inspector
was Bertram Walter FARR, who had joined on 1 July 1913, as a Constable
after having served for a considerable number of years in the Royal
Marines. He remained as the Sub-Inspector in Charge until his retirement
in 1939. Hence, he was the longest serving Sub-Inspector with a total
26 years in the one rank.
In 1939, on the
retirement of Sub-Inspector FARR, the Naval Board decided that, as no
suitable Sergeant or Commissioned Warrant Officer from the Seagoing
Forces were available as a replacement, they would enter an ex NSW policeman
as the officer-in-charge. The man chosen for the job was an ex NSW Police
Inspector, Thomas ELLIOT, who was entered for a two year period at the
ripe age of 60. As he did not present an 'inspiring' example, the Naval
Board did not renew his engagement.
Mr ELLIOTT was replaced
by another ex Inspector of the NSW Police, Mr. H.G.E. GARLICK, who was
also entered at the age of 60 years. However, Sub-Inspector GARLICK
was a very energetic leader and the Naval Board was extremely pleased
with his service and retained him until 7 August 1948, when he retired
at the age of 67 years. Mr. GARLICK had been promoted to the rank of
Inspector on 14 April 1943, and was the first Naval
Policeman to ever hold the rank.
can be thanked as the man responsible for changing the Naval Dockyard
Police uniform into the modern era. As a former member of the NSW Police,
he was not, at all happy that in 1946 that the NDP still wore the high
collared tunic and helmet of the old NSW Water Police. He considered
that it gave the appearance of a 'lion-tamer' and subsequently authorised
a change to the double-breasted uniform of the RAN. Fortunately, the
Naval Board, having been presented with a fait accompli, ultimately
agreed with Mr. GARLICK's changes.
by INSP Garlick for change in style of helmet
Although the NDP
moved into the double breasted RAN uniforms in 1949, it was not until
1968 that the Force began to use the traditional styled RAN cap badge,
albeit they were made of silver wire not gold, thereby abandoning the
last remnant of the NSW Water Police uniform the NDP had copied.
In 1968, the Force
also changed from the original collar numbers and collar anchors to
the NDP badge, which was the original RAN anchor surmounting the letters
N.D.P. and was worn on the left breast in summer and each lapel in winter.
This badge was ultimately replaced in 1972 a Naval Police breast badge.
It should be pointed out to students of heraldry that this breast badge
displayed is correct as it displays the Admiralty anchor rather than
the RAN anchor, which has always been worn by the Force.
The Naval Dockyard
Police can lay claim to having been the last, if not the only, branch
of the RAN to have been horse-borne. Patrols of establishments on horse
back commenced during WW II at depots such as Byford, in WA, and Newington
in NSW. They continued right through until 1952 when the last fiery
steed was with drawn from service at Byford and transferred to the less
illustrious role of towing a roller around the sports ground of HMAS
LEEUWIN. Notwithstanding this, Riding Breeches appeared on the official
kit list of the Naval Dockyard Police some time after the disappearance
of our last horse.
As a result of a
fire at NAS NOWRA in December 1976, which completely destroyed a hangar
and numerous Tracker aircraft, Navy Office saw the need to upgrade security
at the Naval Air Station and in early 1977 Police Dogs were introduced
to the Air Station. Initially Police Dogs and Handlers from the RAAF
were used. The first Naval Police and Police Dog
Team took up duties in July 1979.
The German Shepherd
dog is preferred by the RAN to other breeds because of its physical
attributes, intelligence, dependability, versatility and receptiveness
of training. The Shepherd is not chosen because of the ill-founded belief
that the dog is savage. Indeed, neither savage nor a timid dog is accepted
for training. The RAN does not breed but relies on the RAAF for its
supply of dogs. Only pure breed Shepherds of either sex are accepted.
In the late 19th
century the German Shepherd dog was bred as a working sheep dog which
also involved protecting the flock from marauding wolves and bandits.
Since then the dog has shown its much-admired qualities as a Police
dog, Guide Dog for the Blind, Drug Detection Dog, Explosive Detection
Dog and faithful family pet. It is these qualities, which has earned
the Shepherd the international reputation of being the best in its class.
The careful selection
of persons suitable for training for Police Dog Handlers is vital to
the successful employment of Police Dogs in the RAN. At all stages of
training and operational use the Naval Police Handler and his Dog work
as a team, often with the minimum of supervision, therefore the selection
of suitable personnel for training is no less important than the careful
selection of dogs. Not only does the Naval Police handler have to cope
with the training of his dog, study dog psychology and dog husbandry,
he must also be conversant with normal Naval Police Practice and Procedure
and can be called upon to carry out any Naval Police duties. Naval Police
Dog Handlers are selected from all ranks of the Naval Police. They must
be a volunteer for Police Dog duties, their Naval Police Task book must
be completed and they must be assessed as suitable for dog handling
The training of
the handler and his dog is carried out (at the same time) at the Police
Dog Training Centre, Toowoomba, Queensland. The handler and his dog
are initially trained in obedience work. This means that the dog is
taught to obey commands given by the handler in series of repetitive
habit forming exercises. The dog must learn to do as he is told before
he can be expected to succeed with further training.
The training is
then advanced to developing the dog's natural agility. The object of
agility training is to ensure that the Police Dog learns to surmount
all obstacles within its physical capabilities. Several of the obstacles
encountered during this training are hurdles of varying
height, a tunnel, a vertical scaling board, a ladder, a log walk and
a fire hoop.
After success in
obedience and obstacle training, the dog is trained in attack work.
The object of this training is to ensure that the dog is capable of
detecting the presence of an intruder or criminal by wind borne or ground
scent, chasing and apprehending an escaping intruder, defending his
handler and/or himself against attack, disarming an intruder or criminal
armed with a firearm or other weapon as well as guarding and escorting
these persons after apprehension. The dog is also trained to be fearless
At the end of the
training course the handler and his dog are posted to NAS NOWRA where
they will start their new life working together.
in the way of security on Naval establishments in peacetime Australia
is a matter for debate. The threat of sabotage or vandalism sometimes
seems remote ... but is it?
The RAAF, who have
had Police Dogs for over 20 years state that a one handler - one dog
team is equivalent to three guards on foot patrol.'
The inherent abilities
of German Shepherds complement the effectiveness of their human handlers.
Humans generally have better eyesight than dogs. But the German Shepherd
is better able to detect movement and noise and their highly developed
olfactory system - with a remarkable ability both to detect the presence
of people, animals or substances from hundreds of metres and at close
range to distinguish one scent from a number of others - is their biggest
plus of all.
The bond between
dog and handler is one of care and protection, handler cares for dog,
and dog protects handler. A well-trained dog alerted to the presence
of someone other than his handler will, by propping, pricking his ears
or raising his hackles, alert his handler of the fact. The handler is
then in a position to decide how to handle the situation. Radioing for
reinforcements before making a move, or rendering the situation overt
by challenging the person and unleashing the dog to hold the intruder
for questioning or search.
television system could be used in well-lit areas, such as for line
of parked aircraft. But TV cameras cannot smell or detect small sounds
and there is no guarantee that the viewer is going to be looking in
the right place at the right time, or sufficiently alert to notice that
flicker of movement which could mean a threat to property.
Police dogs represent
good value for Navy dollars invested in security.
Weapons used by Naval
Tuesday, 26 February 2002 15:18:46