Newcastle farewells “TT”

Newcastle farewelled the late Chief Inspector Anthony “Tony” Townsend, known affectionately as TT, this morning at a huge funeral service at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Chief Inspector Townsend died last Tuesday 12 August, following a long battle with cancer, aged 61.

Behind the Townsend family and their friends, hundreds of uniformed officers lined the stands to pay their respects.

Born and bred in the Hunter Valley, he was raised in Dungog and attended Redfern Police Academy in 1983 and started his policing career at The Rocks in Sydney, before starting a long stint in police prosecutions. Tony continued to study in this field, graduating with a Diploma of Law and a practicing certificate in Law whilst working within the prosecutions command in the Northern Region until 2001, when he transferred to the Lower Hunter Local Area Command at the rank of Constable.

Tony continued policing in the Lower Hunter and Port Stephens Police Commands before they were amalgamated in 2018. He was appointed Chief Inspector in 2019 and operated as the Local Emergency Operations Controller for the Dungog Shire.

During his career, Chief Inspector Townsend was the recipient of various awards acknowledging his service to the NSW Police Force, including the NSW Police Medal and various associated clasps, a NSW Premier Emergency Award for his work during the Hunter/Central Coast Storm Emergency in 2007, a National Police Service Medal in 2014, and a Commissioner’s Unit Citation in 2016.

Tony was an avid member of the rugby league community throughout his policing career playing for the St George Illawarra Dragons before being a part of the inaugural Newcastle Knights team in 1988.

Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna APM, said Chief Inspector Townsend was an extremely hard-working and courageous officer, who continued to serve his community as a District Inspector until his passing.

“Tony was an exemplary example of what it meant to be a community leader and role model,” Assistant Commissioner McKenna said.

“His dedication and commitment to the residents of Dungog and the Lower Hunter basin for decades was second to none. He would always go the extra mile to get the job done for his community.

“He kept his private battles exactly that – private. You would never have been the wiser speaking to Tony, he was the epitome of a gentleman and a professional police officer.

“He is one of those cops who inspired the next generation of officer coming through the commands, and I couldn’t be prouder to have worked alongside him and know him for a large part of my policing career.

“TT – it’s been a privilege and you will be sorely missed by your police family and indeed, the wider Hunter community,” Assistant Commissioner McKenna said.

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