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FROM the VAULT – CoP Francis Erich Bischof

On December 14, 1925, after Constable Francis Erich Bischof completed formal police training, he was sworn into the Queensland Police Force.  In 1933 with General Duty service history at police stations on Roma Street, in Ipswich and Fortitude Valley, Constable Bischof joined the Brisbane Crime Investigation Branch (CIB).  Promoted to Sergeant 2/c in 1939, Senior Sergeant in 1943, then Inspector in 1949, Bischof would remain with the CIB until his appointment as Police Commissioner on January 30, 1958.

Commissioner Bischof (at centre, wearing blue cap) at a rainy Passing Out Parade for Probationaries upon their being sworn in as Constables, 1958.  Image PM2222c courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

Commissioner Bischof (at centre, wearing blue cap) at a rainy Passing Out Parade for Probationaries upon their being sworn in as Constables, 1958. Image PM2222c courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

The methods of New Scotland Yard, policing in the United Kingdom, had been studied extensively by Bischof whilst an Inspector, with similar security techniques used during several royal visits to Queensland, including by Her Majesty, the Queen Mother and Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra, in 1958 and 1959 respectively.  After further visitation by royalty Commissioner Bischof was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service, ‘in recognition of his outstanding service and devotion to duty in the Queensland Police Force’ (Qld Police Department).

Commissioner Bischof batting at a charity cricket match, between the police team and the Tattersalls Back Benchers, held at the Brisbane Cricket Ground 1961.  Image PM2103 courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

Commissioner Bischof batting at a charity cricket match, between the police team and the Tattersalls Back Benchers, held at the Brisbane Cricket Ground 1961. Image PM2103 courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

Accolades aside, there were differing opinions on the conduct of Commissioner Bischof; allegations of corruption, choosing favourites and being overtly tough with others, “including from policemen, reporters, even the criminals, that have been delivered a bawling out as only Frank Bischof can give”, (The Sunday Mail, 9th February 1969).  And as a witness in the National Hotel Royal Commission, Justice Harry Gibbs explained of Mr Bischof “His absolute frankness in the witness box impressed me”.

Commissioner Bischof discussing the upcoming Queensland Police Ball to be held at Brisbane City Hall in August 1963, with three debutantes from the Main Roads Department.  Image PM1731a courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

Commissioner Bischof discussing the upcoming Queensland Police Ball to be held at Brisbane City Hall in August 1963, with three debutantes from the Main Roads Department. Image PM1731a courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

Commissioner Bischof retired on medical grounds after 43 years’ service as a policeman, with 10 of those years in the top job.  A few of his many achievements during that time included the creation of the Juvenile Aid Bureau, establishment of the Crime Prevention and Public Relations Bureaus, and becoming the foundation Chairman for the Queensland Police Citizens Youth Welfare Association.  Perhaps this interesting sentiment, spoken by Mr Bischof to his cohort, sums up an extraordinary career “If you’re new on the front page you don’t have much to worry about. It’s when they start putting your wrongdoings on the back page that we’ll all start to panic”.

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This information has been supplied by the Queensland Police Museum from the best resources available at the time of writing.  The Police Museum is open 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month (Feb-Nov) and is located on the Ground Floor of Police Headquarters at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane. Contact: E: [email protected]

“FROM the VAULT- CoP Francis Erich Bischof” by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode

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