Commissioner of Police

Christopher John Dawson APM

Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson joined the Western Australia Police as a cadet in February 1976, going on to provide 38 years of continuous service in country and metropolitan positions across a range of portfolios. Appointed to the rank of superintendent in 1999, he became the inaugural principal of the WA Police Academy in Joondalup. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2002 saw him awarded the Australian Police Medal for distinguished service.

After long stints acting up as an Assistant Commissioner, he was appointed Deputy Commissioner under Karl O’Callaghan in July 2004, with a brief to lead an agency reform program resulting from outcomes from the Kennedy Royal Commission. From May 2008 he had overall management of all operational policing within metropolitan and regional areas, including the specialist portfolios of serious and organised crime, counter terrorism and state protection.

In 2011, Mr Dawson headed up the biggest security operation in the history of WA Police, as State Commander for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). He was responsible for the security of all attending Heads of State from 53 Commonwealth countries and their respective senior ministers and delegates.

After ten years as Deputy Commissioner, Mr Dawson left WA Police in April 2014 to take up the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, formerly the Australian Crime Commission. He has also served as Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology. This experience was a key factor in his return to WA Police in August 2017, when he was appointed Commissioner.