26 November 2021

'New direction' for NSW Police as Boorowa's Karen Webb named Police Commissioner

| Max O'Driscoll
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NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Karen Webb APM

New NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb APM, who steps into the role in April 2022, hails from Boorowa. Photo: NSW Police.

The girl from Boorowa Central School sure has come a long way.

Karen Webb APM has this week accepted NSW Police’s top job, taking over from the outgoing Michael Fuller to become NSW Police Commissioner at the end of his term in April 2022.

She is the first woman to ever hold the role, and hopes her appointment will inspire other women to join the force.

Deputy Commissioner Webb has served in her current role since July 2021, and worked as NSW Police Assistant Commissioner since July 2017. She has been with the police since 1987 and has a background in domestic violence and sex-based crimes.

She said that with her background, she has witnessed firsthand the need to better support victims of crime and declared it would be a major focus of her five-year term in the NSW Police Commissioner role.

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It is all part of the “new direction” she plans to take NSW Police while acknowledging the need to continue to be tough on offenders and vigilant in seeking them out.

Deputy Commissioner Webb suggested a return to more traditional policing duties post-COVID-19 pandemic would be welcomed, and that she will be re-engaging with the community to better understand their expectations of NSW Police.

“Police had a particular role during COVID-19 in enforcing health orders, but certainly as we come to the end of that it’s time we return to what we know and do best, and that’s keeping our community safe in the more traditional way,” she said.

Deputy Commissioner Webb declared that her role will be ensuring NSW Police remains a world-class police force. Being a career cop, she believes she is equipped to do this.

“I joined the police in 1987 to make a difference,” she said. “I applied for this job for the same reason but I’ve got much more to give now and much more to add.”

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NSW Premier Domenic Perrottet said Deputy Commissioner Webb beat a number of impressive candidates for the role.

“Karen has served our state for more than 30 years, keeping our community safe right across NSW with absolute distinction,” he said.

“I believe she will do a very good job. She has the leadership skills, and the experience through her time in the NSW Police Force to lead our state well during this period.”

Outgoing Commissioner Fuller said NSW Police is in “safe hands” under the leadership of Deputy Commissioner Webb.

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I’m not convinced that as we come to the end of Covid that tradition wouldn’t have shifted.

And I wonder what is assumed by a return to a more traditional way?

Do major upheavals change anything? It’s a vexed question.

There were conservatives as well as environmentalists on the first fleet, historical records show this.

Keeping the peace will be a merry dance

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