In 2010, Patrick was commissioned to write the first comprehensive history of the NSW Police Force, from its heritage as the Night Watch (created from convicts by Governor Phillip in 1789) to today, where the force is the 5th largest, and one of the most sophisticated, police organisations in the world, with around 20,000 members serving seven million citizens.

On 27 September 2012, True Blue was launched by the NSW Minister for Police, The Hon Michael Gallacher MLC, and Commissioner Andrew Scipione at the Justice & Police Museum Sydney.

From the settlement of the colony until 1862, the various police units throughout the state operated autonomously and experienced growing communication problems as the colony grew and spread. The explosion of bushranging sparked by the gold rushes of the 1850s demanded a new approach and transformed the force’s future.

In 1862, the Police Regulation Act established the NSW Police Force under command of the Inspector General of Police, Captain John McLerie, amalgamating the Rural Constabulary, Mounted Patrols, Sydney Metropolitan and Water Police into the one centralised force we know today.  

“I wanted to celebrate and honour the service and sacrifice of all our police, in particular the memories of the unsung heroes who put their lives on the line each day to protect the people of NSW,” Patrick explained. “It’s a celebration of the spirit of the Police Force.

“The force’s history mirrors the European history of Australia, with all its ups and downs. It reflects the remarkable resilience and toughness demanded during the formative years and it explores the growing pains that followed.

“There is certain nobility in police work and I hope that this book highlights our heritage from the last 150 years, and back to the earliest days of the colony. I also wanted to capture t the way we’ve grown and matured since 1862,” he said. 

The book is lavishly illustrated, drawing on the rich reservoir of personal and historical images we have unearthed during research. The book places in historical and world context the various eras of policing, the characters and the events and milestones that have shaped policing in NSW since 1788.

The force boasts many genuine heroes, including two members who have been awarded the civilian equivalent of the Victoria Cross for valour. Like all police forces, the NSW Police have had their villains but, while their misdeeds have been recorded, Patrick has concentrated on highlighting the remarkable achievements of the members of the force who have contributed positively to society.



Patrick talks about True Blue and legacy of the NSW Police Force.