- Outgoing WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson commended by Premier Mark McGowan and Police Minister Paul Papalia
- New WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch assumes role at midnight tonight
Premier Mark McGowan and Police Minister Paul Papalia have acknowledged outgoing Western Australian Police Commissioner Chris Dawson for his service and leadership during a tenure filled with unprecedented challenges.
Mr Dawson, whose five-year appointment as WA Police Commissioner ends at midnight tonight, will be sworn in tomorrow as the 34th Governor of Western Australia. He becomes the first police officer appointed as the Queen's representative for the State.
Mr Dawson played a vital role in WA's pandemic management as the State Emergency Coordinator, working in lockstep with the Premier, Police Minister and Chief Health Officer to keep the community safe.
Mr Dawson, whose distinguished career in law enforcement has spanned 46 years, leaves behind a legacy of integrity, excellence and reform.
His 2018 apology to Aboriginal people mistreated by the State's police force was historic, and his commitment to dismantling outlaw motorcycle gangs unwavering.
High profile cases solved under Mr Dawson's watch include the rescue of kidnapped Carnarvon four-year-old, Cleo Smith, and the conviction of Claremont killer Bradley Robert Edwards.
The McGowan Government congratulates incoming WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch and looks forward to working closely with him and the WA Police Force to continue keeping the community safe.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"I would like to thank Chris Dawson, not just for his contribution as WA Police Commissioner, but for his key role keeping our community safe during the pandemic.
"COVID-19 created unprecedented challenges and Chris rose to the occasion at every turn.
"As WA's Vaccine Commander, he worked steadfastly to drive up vaccination rates and protect the community, making an incredibly important contribution as part of our pandemic response.
"His work to heal historic wounds with the Aboriginal community was an incredibly important step for reconciliation in Western Australia.
"Chris is a person of integrity and a fine example of what it means to be a police officer. I congratulate Chris on a distinguished career and look forward to welcoming him as Western Australia's next Governor."
Comments attributed to Police Minister Paul Papalia:
"I would like to thank Chris Dawson for his leadership, service and friendship. A veteran officer with a distinguished career, Chris Dawson showed himself to be a leader who cared deeply for those under his command.
"Under his watch, some of the biggest cases in the State's history have been cracked.
"Cleo Smith was saved. Nick Martin's assassin was captured. The Claremont killer was finally brought to justice.
"His legacy is a modern police force which is more effective than ever in keeping our community safe, a police force which we can all be proud of.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome WA's new Police Commissioner, Col Blanch. I look forward to working closely with him so we can continue to provide our police with the laws and resources they need."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Minister's office - 6552 5600