He succeeded to the position of Commissioner of Police, after the retirement of Commissioner John Avery, in March 1991. In February 1996, Tony Lauer's term ended in controversy with his resignation soon after the start of the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption.
After some time a new replacement Commissioner was selected from England with the appointment of Peter James Ryan to the position.
He is a past President of the Police Association of NSW and was made a Life Member of the Association in 1983. He has served as a member of the Police Board of NSW, the Operation Review Committee of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Management Committee of the State Crime Commission and a Councillor of the Royal Humane Society of NSW.
He is currently a Director of the Police Department Employee’s Credit Union Limited. He is also chairman of the Information Technology Committee and a member of the Assets and Liabilities Committee of that Credit Union. He also serves as a Legator with Police Legacy and as a member of the RSL’s “Anzac of the Year” Award Committee.
He was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 1994, and has been awarded the Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, the National Medal, Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee Medal and the Australian Police Medal.