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Protective Security Officers: More than meets the eye


2018, ISSUE 1



Protective Security Officers

New initiatives:

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Declared Public Precincts

> Community engagement:

Community Constable Development Program

> Our people:

Mental health

> Operations:

Operation Halon

> Crime trend:


© Copyright South Australia Police 2018

2018, ISSUE 1

From the Editor


Team profile:

Blueprint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License .


eeping SA safe’ is not a feelgood marketing slogan – it’s a commitment SAPOL upholds across the state every day. This issue of Blueprint highlights several ways SAPOL is maintaining community safety, including the new Declared Public Precincts which provide police with additional powers to curb disorderly behaviour. So far they have proven to be a resounding success in deterring antisocial behaviour in the City West area and during major events such as the Adelaide Fringe and Schoolies Festival. Community safety is also at the forefront of SAPOL’s significant efforts both locally and nationally to counter the real threat of terrorism. A recent restructure of State Protective Security Branch has enhanced SAPOL’s response and investigative capabilities in the rapidly changing terrorism environment. Protective Security Officers are also playing a crucial role in the state’s counter-terrorism strategies, with their role focusing on protecting critical government




ISSN 1448-1855 Editor and writer: Mathew Rodda Editorial Team: Assistant Commissioner Peter Harvey, Superintendent Christine Baulderstone, Karina Loxton and Mathew Rodda.

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infrastructure. This issue of Blueprint examines their importance and highlights the diverse career paths available. While protecting the community, officers often have to ensure their own safety, as Brevet Sergeant Keith Van Dongen and Constable Mark Legutko can attest to. In August 2016 they were lucky to survive a harrowing ordeal when an ice-affected driver attempted to hit them with her speeding vehicle during an arrest. Their brave actions during nine minutes of madness saved their lives and resulted in each officer receiving a Certificate of Commendation. Dealing with stressful incidents underlines the importance of SAPOL’s mental health program. Initiatives such as Mental Health First Aid training, the ‘equipt’ app and the ‘HeadNotes’ booklet are helping staff navigate pathways to timely assistance and strengthen their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. This issue of Blueprint also highlights SAPOL’s fresh approach to investigations, with the new Investigation Support Desk providing vital support to frontline police. We also explore Operation Halon which broke new ground with its innovative and collaborative approach to a major crash investigation.

Designed & Printed by: Graphic Print Group

Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section;

COVER Protective Security Officer Hannah Casey. Photo: Andrew Challen, SAPOL Photographic Section.

Brevet Sergeant Colin White; Major Crash Investigation Section; Neighbourhood Watch SA; South Australian Police Historical Society. Blueprint is produced by SAPOL’s Awards, Marketing and Events Branch, Police Headquarters, GPO Box 1539, Adelaide 5001 Internal Postcode: 120 Tel: 08 732 23294 – Fax: 08 732 23289

Views and opinions expressed by contributors within this publication are not necessarily those of SAPOL, the Commissioner of Police or the Government of South Australia. Articles, photographs and other contributions are welcome from every SAPOL employee. SAPOL treats indigenous cultures and beliefs with respect. To many communities it is disrespectful and offensive to depict persons who have died. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are warned this publication may contain such images and references.


‘More than Bricks and Mortar’ is well worth a look if you are interested in our history and the stories of those who came before us.

Commissioner's foreword SAPOL recently celebrated 180 years of history on Police Foundation Day, which is held annually on 28 April.


his year we commemorated this significant date with the launch of ‘More than Bricks and Mortar’, an extensive book on the history of police stations across South Australia written by retired Deputy Commissioner John White. This book has been a labour of love for John. It provides SAPOL with a definitive reference source on our police stations and importantly tells the stories of hardship, sacrifice and commitment

by those who have served in some of the most remote parts of our state. This is John’s third book on the history of SAPOL and is the most significant body of research he has undertaken. The book is available for purchase through the South Australian Police Historical Society, and copies will be available in the Police Library. ‘More than Bricks and Mortar’ is well worth a look if you are interested in our history and the stories of those who came before us. It is also important to acknowledge the commitment of SAPOL employees today. I often speak of courage as one of our values and on 27 March 2018 we were able to recognise the courage of four SAPOL members. Senior Constable Andrew Emms and Constable Darren Knight each received

the Police Bravery Medal for their rescue of an unconscious man from a burning vehicle in Seaford Rise in 2016. Both Andrew and Darren took action despite serious risk to their own personal safety. Senior Constable Cathryn Fearn also demonstrated obvious courage when she attempted to rescue a man from the river at Berri in 2013. Cathryn put her own safety at risk by entering the river in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the man. Sergeant Tracy Clark exhibited another dimension of courage – moral courage – in her support of a criminal investigation of a serving SAPOL officer between 2013 and 2017. Cathryn ‘stood up’ and took action bringing the allegations to light and supporting other staff during a complex and protracted

investigation and trial. I was pleased to formally recognise the commitment of Andrew, Darren, Cathryn and Tracy. In closing, I know everyone is interested in what is happening with our police fleet with the end of locally manufactured Holden vehicles. We are still trialling the Kia, paying close attention to its performance as a general duties patrol vehicle and we are currently looking at the new imported Commodore. Other vehicles will be assessed as they become available. I can assure you that any vehicles endorsed for general duties patrols will meet the rigorous safety and performance requirements needed to do the job.


It is also important to acknowledge the commitment of SAPOL employees today. BL UEPR IN T IS S U E 1 ~ 2 0 1 8



Constable Mark Legutko and Brevet Sergeant Keith Van Dongen reflect on their ordeal. OPPOSITE PAGE: The officers at the

service station where the incident began, and below, with their Certificate of Commendation. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.




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As an out of control car hurtled towards him, Constable Mark Legutko thought of his wife and three young sons and defiantly said to himself this is not going to be the end. Fearing for his life and that of his partner Brevet Sergeant Keith Van Dongen, he had exhausted all of his tactical options and unclipped his firearm in readiness for another attempt by the crazed driver to run them down.


his was the harrowing ordeal faced by the brave duo from Elizabeth Local Service Area as they tried to avoid being killed or seriously injured by a vehicle driven at them multiple times by Georgina Carapanayiotis in the early morning of 31 August 2016. Moments earlier the officers had spotted her with then-boyfriend Aaron Pepe at a service station on Main North Road, Smithfield. They ran a check of their Holden Commodore sedan and found it to be a suspect vehicle in an aggravated robbery. Constable Legutko approached Pepe, who then attacked him. Brevet Sergeant Van Dongen showered him with capsicum spray but Pepe broke free and ran down the wrong side of Main North Road, with both officers chasing on foot. Carapanayiotis followed in the Commodore, driving down the wrong side of the road and forcing the officers to take evasive action to avoid being hit.

Over a sustained period the ice-affected Carapanayiotis drove directly at the officers at least five times and did doughnuts around them a further five times while they were in the middle of Main North Road. “My thought process at this time was the driver of this vehicle is trying to kill us. It sounds a bit cliché but I saw my life flash before my eyes,” Constable Legutko said. “She lined us up and drove straight at us. We both thought that the only way it was going to end was for one of us to use our firearm.” The officers apprehended Pepe when he misjudged a jump through the moving Commodore’s passenger window and fell to the ground, but this did not stop them being a target for the drugaddled driver. Constable Legutko tried to distract Carapanayiotis by throwing his baton at the car, breaking the rear windscreen. “I would run from Keith and the male offender and place myself as a target for the driver to try and run down, which forced her to decide which target to focus on,” he said. “She would get a run up and drive at me at anywhere between 80-120 km/h. I tried throwing my baton through a window to distract her and threw a traffic bollard at the front windscreen to restrict

her view and cause her to slow down, however this made no difference.” Carapanayiotis continued to recklessly drive at the officers until back-up patrols arrived. “She then appeared as though she was going to flee the scene but turned back around and attempted to hit us again,” Brevet Sergeant Van Dongen said. “This time she misjudged a turn and collided with a pile of tree mulch that was on the nature strip. This allowed Mark to grab hold of her through the open driver’s window. Other patrols were on scene by this time and arrested her.” Both officers were indebted to a member of the public who positioned his vehicle in front of them. “He thought we were

going to be killed so he was prepared to sacrifice his own vehicle to protect us. Had it not been for his actions we could have been hit by the Commodore,” Brevet Sergeant Van Dongen said. The courage and leadership displayed by Brevet Sergeant Van Dongen and Constable Legutko was recognised with a Certificate of Commendation. “My eldest son was very proud of my award and my two younger boys now call me Superman,” Constable Legutko said. “I accepted the award on behalf of police officers from all over the world who place their lives on the line every day and don’t receive any recognition.” The audio recording of the incident is now used to train

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cadets at the Police Academy. “It was not until both Keith and I heard the radio communications from that night that reality set in and I could feel and hear the fear in my voice. That really hit home. Both of us started to shake and I felt the tears start to well up. It was the most bone chilling thing I have heard and do not wish to hear again,”

Constable Legutko and Brevet Sergeant Van Dongen recall their life-threatening episode outside the service station. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.


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Constable Legutko said. “My adrenalin was pumping and my senses were heightened. I acted on instinct while relying on the training I’ve had in police and military roles over the years to deal with the threat. “The incident lasted around nine minutes but it seemed much longer at the time.” For Brevet Sergeant Van Dongen the traumatic encounter was the most intense experience of his decade-long career with Elizabeth Patrols but it hasn’t

diminished the father of four’s love of policing. “It was the first time in my career that I had feared for my life. Straight after the incident my vigilance levels were through the roof and I found myself calling for back-up in instances where I wouldn’t have in the past,” he said. “Things are back to normal now, but I remain far more vigilant than what I might have been previously. “The incident reminded me of the camaraderie we have in this job. The response

by patrols from Elizabeth, Holden Hill and Gawler was amazing – hearing the sirens coming from all directions was the best sound ever. The support that I have received since has been fantastic.” In January 2018 Carapanayiotis was sentenced to four years in jail with a nonparole period of 20 months. For the brave officers, their ordeal has forged a bond and friendship that will last a lifetime. 

The incident lasted around nine minutes but it seemed much longer at the time.

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Teams of PSOs work aroundthe-clock to carry out static and mobile security duties along with 24-hour alarm monitoring. 6

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PSOs Danielle Franklin, Aaron Dunk and Hannah Casey on patrol in the city. OPPOSITE PAGE: PSOs undertaking

training course components and celebrating their graduation. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Protective Security Officers (PSOs) play a crucial role in keeping South Australia safe by providing a range of security services to protect vital government assets, while contributing to the state’s counter-terrorism strategies.


n integral part of SAPOL’s Police Security Services Branch (PSSB), PSOs create a safer and secure environment for government employees and community members accessing government facilities. “Teams of PSOs work around-the-clock to carry out static and mobile security duties along with 24-hour alarm monitoring and closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance,” said Officer in Charge of PSSB, Superintendent Kym Thomas. PSSB comprises two primary sections – Physical Security Section (PSS) and the Security Control Centre (SCC). PSS provides protective security services to designated government critical infrastructure and high risk assets and other government facilities across the metropolitan area. PSS guards and patrols work either in static sites,

predominantly in the CBD, or on school patrols. “PSOs in critical infrastructure static sites are the first responders to any emergency situation, including counter-terrorism incidents, and in 2014 they were armed following elevation of the terrorist threat level,” Superintendent Thomas said. “School patrols are responsible for maintaining a highly visible presence in and around public schools. In 2017 school patrols detected almost 40 per cent more offenders on school premises than the previous year and have played a significant role in the long-term reduction in school crime in recent years.” The SCC is an A1-graded control centre operating 24/7. “The SCC provides a whole-of-government alarm monitoring service including CCTV monitoring across the Adelaide CBD and major transport corridors,” Superintendent Thomas said. “The team of 29 SCC operators perform valuable work with CCTV monitoring that continually results in the detection of serious offending such as drug dealing, robberies, locating vulnerable children, and road traffic and street offences. “The SCC supports flexible rostering which helps operators balance work and life commitments. It also provides an opportunity for PSOs to transfer to an officebased working environment if their needs change.” PSSB also includes Security Support Section

which delivers expert, professional and impartial security consultation and training services to clients, and Business Support Section which provides financial management for PSSB which is a cost recovery business. PSSB has recently implemented several initiatives to benefit SAPOL and PSOs including the introduction of load bearing vests, increased active armed offender training, a remodelled training course for SCC PSO recruits, and a new recruiting strategy aimed at providing more opportunities for women and people from Indigenous and culturally diverse backgrounds. “There’s no better time to become a PSO. Staff often have exciting opportunities to try different roles, with a range of positions across PSSB offering skill development and career progression,” Superintendent Thomas said.

DAILY CHALLENGES Danielle Franklin is one of 95 PSOs deployed throughout the South Australian metropolitan area. Since

joining SAPOL in 2010 she has risen through the ranks to become a Patrol Supervisor. “A career as a PSO is highly rewarding as we play a vital role in keeping the community safe,” she said. “I enjoy being part of a diverse team and facing daily challenges, whether it’s performing foot patrols in schools and around critical city infrastructure or training and mentoring new staff.” Danielle sees a PSO’s main challenge as making hard decisions quickly. “Often our toughest decisions are made on the spot without the chance to research or consult other parties before acting,” she said. “We regularly come across security breaches that can test you mentally and physically. Most of the time our risk assessments are fluid as the event is happening. “We also need to be vigilant as noticing small changes around the sites often plays a vital role in much larger investigations.” 

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As a PSO, you get to experience some of the best security training in the industry, work with high-end technology and have the full support of the state’s police and emergency services network.



fter spending 25 years as a book binder in the printing industry, Aaron Dunk yearned for a new chapter working in a communityrelated role. He applied to become a PSO and since July 2017 has embraced his new


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career with an infectious enthusiasm. “It has been a satisfying career choice. I work with a great team and really enjoy interacting with the community as the role suits my personality,” he said. “Being a PSO is an excellent opportunity to develop your full potential as one of a new breed of security professionals. You get to experience some of the best security training in the industry, work with high-end technology and have the full support of the state’s police and emergency services network.”

Aaron relishes the opportunity to deal with difficult situations. “As a PSO you may be called upon to pursue and apprehend offenders and calm volatile situations. It’s definitely no ordinary security job,” he said. “I take great pride in helping to make the community safer. I find it fulfilling when my actions result in a positive outcome.” After working in several hospitality roles, 21-year-old Hannah Casey decided it was time to serve the community in a different way, initially applying to become a police

officer before seizing the opportunity of a PSO career. In 2016 she undertook the intensive nine-week Protective Security Officer Qualification Program conducted at the Police Academy, which is tailored to the two different PSO roles in the PSS and SCC. “The program focused on both theory and operational scenario-based training,” Hannah said. “After successfully completing the training I was posted to Port Adelaide Police Station. My role involves conducting patrols of government sites and

PSOs monitoring activities from the Security Control Centre. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

schools and when necessary, report insecure premises, unusual behaviour or suspicious people, damage and graffiti.” It didn’t take long for Hannah to experience the inherent demands of the

PSO role. “In my first few months on patrols I was tasked to an alarm response at a local primary school where offenders had caused significant damage to a classroom,” she said. “When I arrived, police were already on the scene and the offenders were in the school grounds. Both the police and I chased the offenders through the school on foot and I managed to apprehend both of the offenders before escorting them to the police patrol.” Hannah notes the strong sense of camaraderie

amongst team members, the flexible work hours, variety of work sites and opportunities for career progression as the major attractions of her role. “Working solo on patrols, I am able to work independently and am trusted to make my own decisions. I also have enough time to take on extra responsibilities when they are presented, which provides a great opportunity to expand my knowledge,” she said. “Being a PSO can be very rewarding if you’re willing to go the extra mile.” While thoroughly enjoying

her PSO role, Hannah has set her sights on joining other PSOs who have transitioned to SAPOL’s Constable Development Program. “I will continue to develop transferable skills and learn as much as I can as my position is the ideal grounding for a future policing career,” she said. Further information about becoming a PSO is available online at au/join-us/achievemore/ protective-security-officercareers 

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It has been an effective tool to ensure community safety and enjoyment in entertainment precincts.



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Probationary Constable Sam Venning conducts a weapon search while Probationary Constable Sam Fuller looks on. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Police now have additional powers to curb antisocial and disorderly behaviour with the introduction of Declared Public Precincts (DPP).


ntroduced after the Summary Offences (Declared Public Precincts) Amendment Bill was passed in October 2017, the new

legislation enables police to use metal detectors to search people, ban people from a precinct between specified hours, direct a person to move on and remove children under the age of 18 if officers consider them at risk. Those behaving in a disorderly or offensive manner may also be fined up to $1250. The first DPP was established in the City West area – bordered by North Terrace, West Terrace, Currie Street and King William Street, and including Hindley Street – on 10 November 2017. It will be operational

every Friday and Saturday between 6.00 pm and 6.00 am until 11 November 2018. DPPs have also been temporarily established during events including the Adelaide Fringe, Australia Day and the Schoolies Festival. Officer in Charge of Eastern Adelaide Local Service Area (LSA), Superintendent Craig Wall hailed the City West DPP a great success. “It has been an effective tool to ensure community safety and enjoyment in entertainment precincts

while preventing street crime and antisocial behaviour,” he said. “Police can now act swiftly to remove troublemakers from the area, which usually defuses situations before they escalate.” In the first three months of the City West DPP 521 people were ordered from the precinct, 32 people were barred, 126 expiation notices were issued for disorderly conduct, 128 vulnerable children were removed from the precinct, and 189 people searched with a metal detector.

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The DPP is making a difference and has been well received by the community and business owners within the precinct.


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Probationary Constables Sam Venning, Michaela Snodgrass and Mandy Whale on patrol in the City West DPP. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

“The DPP allows police to effectively manage inappropriate behaviour in real-time without being unduly tied up with arrest documentation or administrative burdens,” Superintendent Wall said. “The safety message is getting through as we have noticed a significant reduction in the number of vulnerable children frequenting the precinct and have not seized any weapons. “The DPP is making a difference and has been well received by the community and business owners within the precinct.” Director of the HQ Complex in Hindley Street, Stephen Rose believes the DPP is a positive initiative that has reduced disorderly behaviour in and around the west end of the city. “It’s a valuable tool to ensure the minority of troublemakers are promptly removed from the City West precinct, ensuring a safe environment for the rest of the community,” he said. “Since the DPP was introduced SAPOL has kept

business operators informed and developed a close working relationship which has been mutually beneficial. “I would love to see the DPP become permanent and possibly expand.”

AN APPROPRIATE TOOL FOR ‘SCHOOLIES’ From 24-26 November 2017 around 8000 school leavers descended on the normally tranquil seaside town of Victor Harbor for the annual Schoolies Festival. In previous years the festival has seen celebrations disrupted by unwelcome behaviour from non-school leavers, with a spike in offences. To counteract this, a DPP was established in the main part of Victor Harbor from 6.00 pm until 3.00 am on all three nights of the festival. According to Officer in Charge of Hills Fleurieu LSA, Superintendent Mark Fairney the DPP was integral to improving public safety throughout the event. “Police worked tirelessly alongside Encounter Youth

Probationary Constables Venning and Fuller discuss the DPP with a member of the public. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section. Section

and their ‘green team’ volunteers to ensure the event was safe and enjoyable for everyone,” he said. “The DPP provided police with a valuable tool to prevent problems before they occurred, particularly with the ability to search people for weapons and use a police dog to detect drug possession.” During the Schoolies Festival seven people were ordered from the precinct, with four people barred. Only two people were arrested for returning to the DPP. Sixty revellers were searched with a metal detector, with no weapons located. The passive alert drug detector

dog was used for the first time in a DPP, registering 110 indications with 86 people admitting to using illicit substances. Two people were drug diverted for possessing a controlled drug. “School leavers and the local community appreciated the effectiveness of the DPP and its positive impact on deterring antisocial behaviour,” Superintendent Fairney said. 

Probationary Constables Whale and Fuller on Hindley Street in the City West DPP. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

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Living in a Kenyan refugee camp after escaping turmoil in his Ethiopian homeland, Jemal Mussa could only dream of having the fulfilling career and lifestyle he now enjoys.


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rriving in Australia in 2010, he experienced homelessness before being put on an educational path that led to him completing Year 12 and then joining SAPOL’s Expiation Notice Branch in 2014 through the Jobs4Youth Program. In November 2017 Jemal was one of three African community members who graduated from SAPOL’s Community Constable Development Program at the Police Academy. They became the first African Community Constables, joining seven recruits from the Aboriginal community in the inaugural intake from the

revamped program. “Graduating was the best day of my life. I still smile when I think where I came from to where I am right now. No-one could believe that I would take such a huge step in the short time I’ve lived in Australia,” Community Constable Mussa said. “This opportunity proves that if you work hard you will get what you deserve and that anything is achievable.” Community Constable Mussa hopes his own experience of two vastly differing worlds will assist in his work. “Many migrants and refugees think police are

aggressive, unapproachable and corrupt like in their countries. Part of my role is to assure multicultural communities that police here are friendly, sincere and happy to assist them,” he said. “I have come across so many people from diverse backgrounds who didn’t know how to approach police for assistance, but when they see me at community events they start opening up and discuss issues I can help them with. “I understand their culture and where they come from.” An average shift for Community Constable Mussa involves supporting

Jemal was one of three African community members who graduated from SAPOL’s Community Constable Development Program at the Police Academy.

general patrols with diverse community taskings, assisting CIB and Operation Mandrake, and attending numerous community events. “I love coming in to work every day knowing that I could be doing a variety of jobs throughout the shift as well as making a positive difference in the community,” he said. Community Constable Mussa believes the 16-week Community Constable Development Program has prepared him well for his new role. “The program is delivered by experienced trainers and provides the knowledge and skills required to be

operational. I felt confident that I could perform my duties from day one on the job,” he said. The new program replaces the Community Constable Course, extending beyond Aboriginal officers to include African recruits. Representatives of other cultures are likely to be included in future courses, depending on community needs. “The new Community Constable Development Program positions SAPOL as an employer of choice for culturally and linguistically diverse groups and enables us to be more representative

Community Constables Jemal Mussa, Juma Abuyi and George Fomba with family and friends on their graduation day. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Community Constable Mussa is congratulated by Commissioner Grant Stevens. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

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Community Constable Chelsea Lieberwirth on duty in Whyalla. Photo: Brevet Sergeant Colin White. OPPOSITE PAGE (TOP): Program graduates, back – Juma Abuyi, Shaquille Stuart-Likouresis, Jamie Smith, George Fomba and Coen Taylor; front – Chelsea Lieberwirth, Brendan White, Matthew Fletcher, Jemal Mussa and Braydon Hoggett. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

I love interacting with the people of Whyalla. I really enjoy being a role model to others, especially in the Aboriginal community, as it gives me a sense of giving back to society through my positive leadership and guidance. 16

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of the community we serve. It provides definitive career pathways and valuable development opportunities,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner (A/AC), State Operations Service, Dean Miller. “Historically, Community Constable vacancies were filled on an individual basis, however the new program enables a number of Community Constables to be recruited simultaneously to address current and anticipated vacancies, which in turn enhances learning opportunities during training.” A Community Constable’s primary role is to be the conduit between police and

their community. They work alongside police officers and can elect after three years to undergo further training to transition to general policing. “Community Constables

provide expert advice to other SAPOL staff to ensure practices and approaches are culturally safe. They also play a vital role in building meaningful relationships

between police and diverse communities,” A/AC Miller said. 


or popular and well respected Whyalla local Chelsea Lieberwirth, the sad passing of her grandmother in late 2016 inspired her to strengthen her community ties and become the town’s first Community Constable. “I felt Whyalla had lost a valuable cultural member and role model when she passed away and I wanted to support the community the same way others and I were supported by her,” she said. “I love interacting with the people of Whyalla. I really enjoy being a role model to others, especially in the Aboriginal community, as it gives me a sense of giving back to society through my positive leadership and guidance.” Community Constable Lieberwirth graduated from the Community Constable Development Program in November 2017, winning the Leadership and Efficiency Award. Her role comprises general patrol and traffic duties along with missing persons’ enquiries. There is also a strong focus on community engagement. “I embrace opportunities to speak with local youth at various ‘hang out’ locations around town and also attend various organisations to help build links with staff and

clients,” she said. “I grew up in Whyalla, so I can use my networks to establish a better rapport with residents.” The Community Constable role has been well received by the local population. “I have received great support from the community and my family. Some of the youth I deal with are very surprised to see me in the police uniform for the first time, however the fact that I am in uniform really

breaks down barriers and they are more than happy to speak with me as a peer,” Community Constable Lieberwirth said. “This is a huge advantage as it means I can positively influence them and set a good example as an Aboriginal police member.” Community Constable Lieberwirth is passionate about improving the relationship between SAPOL and the Aboriginal community.

“There have been some positive changes and I am hoping to make many more through continuous education and support,” she said. “It definitely helps when we attend a job and the people there can see that you are just like them which makes them much more open to talking with you and explaining and resolving whatever is going on.” 

Community Constable Lieberwirth engages with Whyalla community members. Photo: Brevet Sergeant Colin White.

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HEAD-ON Encountering domestic and child abuse, delivering news of a death, and violent confrontations with the public are just some of the challenges police officers face. Dealing with these confronting scenarios are not just distressing for the people directly involved, but can have a profound impact on the mental health of officers and staff.


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worn and non-sworn SAPOL employees are like others in the community who have differing levels of social and emotional resilience. They have relationship difficulties, financial pressures and work stresses. With life becoming increasingly complex and demanding, there are numerous initiatives being undertaken by SAPOL to ensure our employees receive timely support. In March 2017 SAPOL established a mental

health project team, led by experienced clinical psychologist Dr Carol Snellgrove, reflecting SAPOL’s focus on the importance of its people in the SAPOL 2020 – The Roadmap strategy. “The capability of our people to look after the South Australian community depends on their mental health,” Dr Snellgrove said. “Our focus is on getting people the necessary treatment and on recovery without discrimination and

The capability of our people to look after the South Australian community depends on their mental health.

stigma. It is important to seek help; the earlier the better as this is more likely to lead to recovery.” A key component of SAPOL’s commitment to employees’ health and wellbeing is the delivery of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to all Sergeants, Senior Sergeants and occupants of one-person police stations. The training provides them with the tools they need to help their staff and provide support. In total, around 1100 staff will eventually undertake the compulsory two-day course. “MHFA is about increasing mental health literacy, reducing stigma, and increasing the confidence and capability of staff to

look after each other,” Dr Snellgrove said. “The training has been extremely well received so far. In the future we hope to roll-out the training to other ranks and non-sworn employees.” SAPOL has joined with the Police Association of South Australia (PASA) and mental health experts to develop the ‘equipt’ wellbeing smartphone app for use by current and separated police officers, Protective Security Officers, non-sworn employees and families. Assistant Commissioner (AC), Human Resources Service, Linda Fellows said the app helps to strengthen physical, emotional and social wellbeing. “Equipt allows users to not only ‘self-help’, but also

connects with their own social networks as well as professional and confidential support in times of need or crisis,” she said. “It provides important contact details for SAPOL’s Employee Assistance Section, PASA and other useful support services for 24/7 critical incident response. Users can also access information about the Employee Assistance Program to help meet the demands of work and personal life. “The equipt app is free to download from Google Play or iTunes and is completely confidential.” SAPOL and PASA have also worked together to develop the ‘HeadNotes’ booklet. The social and emotional wellbeing initiative

is designed to help officers navigate pathways to assistance. “HeadNotes is intended to create awareness, reduce stigma and to let police officers know that there is help available for mental health issues,” AC Fellows said. “HeadNotes, equipt and MHFA all provide vital information about the common signs and symptoms of emerging mental health problems and when it’s important to seek assistance for these. We don’t want people to wait until they’re unwell to seek help.” The increased focus on mental health and wellbeing saw 333 SAPOL employees contact the Employee Assistance Program in 2017 – a significant rise from 234 in 2016. “The growing demand for mental health services is due to a reduction in stigma, increased capability of leaders, preparedness and a greater awareness of mental health,” Dr Snellgrove said.

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A lot of our work focuses on breaking down myths about stigma and mental health. “In my five years with SAPOL I have witnessed a reduction in stigma. A lot of our work focuses on breaking down myths about stigma and mental health. We need many pathways for care and to encourage people to talk openly about their mental health.”

TURNING MENTAL HEALTH ON ITS HEAD Across the public sector, psychological injury claims with WorkCover account for 4 per cent of claims, however for SAPOL it comprises 25 per cent. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) only represents a small portion of psychological injury claims, with depression, anxiety and alcohol misuse being more common. For Sergeant Mitch Manning, PTSD has been an ongoing battle since he was


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involved in a shooting incident in 1992. “It has been the greatest mental health challenge I’ve faced. Unfortunately I have witnessed several close colleagues ‘fall over’ and lost two from suicide as a result of work/private life trauma. Several of my friends have left policing due to not coping with PTSD,” he said. “In policing we often encounter the worst in people and see the harm they inflict on others. This desensitises you and to cope you can become emotionally unavailable to your family and friends.” Sergeant Manning welcomes SAPOL’s greater focus on mental health. “We are now seeing generational change in the way mental health sufferers are perceived and treated within SAPOL,” he said. “In the past there’s been reluctance about admitting

A SAPOL employee explores the ‘equipt’ app. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

you’re not travelling well mentally and a fear of the negative impact it could have on your career so people have often suffered in silence. “The collaborative work by SAPOL and PASA and Commissioner Stevens’ leadership in mental health shows we’re moving in the right direction.” SAPOL’s commitment to mental health has been emphasised with the introduction of the ‘Family Evening’ program for cadet courses at the Police Academy. Cadets and their loved ones attend the event where experts discuss the realities of policing, educate them about the early signs of mental health issues and outline the assistance available. SAPOL employees also participated in the recent national Beyond Blue survey, recording a very high response rate, and for the

past year SAPOL has been a member of an emergency services liaison network with SA Ambulance Service, Metropolitan Fire Service and State Emergency Service. Dr Snellgrove said SAPOL will continue to implement programs that increase mental health literacy, reduce stigma, increase preparedness and resilience, and improve leadership capability, while developing multiple pathways for early intervention. “The plan is to instigate programs at stages across the employee life cycle, from recruitment to retirement. We also aim to improve access to mental health services for rural and remote regions of SAPOL,” she said. “All programs will be evidence-based and evaluated for effectiveness in the future.” 


LEFT: Senior Constable Brett Gibbons holds a white gold ring which has one of the shotgun pellets from his traumatic shooting incident set in it. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.


ucky to be alive after a life-changing work incident, Senior Constable Brett Gibbons has a strong appreciation of the mental health demands police officers face. In April 2011 he survived being shot in the face at point-blank range while attending the scene of a triple murder at Hectorville. Now as a Victim Contact Officer (VCO) for police officers he often draws upon his own traumatic experience from that fateful night and his inspirational recovery to help them through their own harrowing situations and piece their lives back together. “Lying in hospital seven years ago I didn’t know what the future held for me. Over time I’ve been lucky enough to be supported by friends and colleagues while confronting my challenges,” Senior Constable Gibbons said. “I have now returned to full operational duties with no long-term effects so in essence I’m proof the system does work.” Senior Constable Gibbons finds his VCO role very rewarding.

“I enjoy providing fellow officers with understanding about their own experiences and giving them guidance on what assistance is available and how they can help themselves and their families,” he said. “When you first start experiencing mental health challenges it’s like you’re stranded on an island and nobody else is there. Having somebody else on that island that had a similar experience or knows where you’ve been helps you understand that there is a place to go; you’re not stuck on the island and can move on.” Senior Constable Gibbons believes it’s becoming more accepted for police to speak out and seek help without judgement from colleagues and management. “I’m noticing more people discussing their mental health with their peers and seeking the necessary support,” he said. “Everybody deals with their mental health issues differently, but it can be a daily struggle. For police it’s a more direct and in-yourface struggle.” In his own time Senior Constable Gibbons runs the

independent Emergency Archives website,, which caters for emergency service workers suffering from mental health stress. He believes the website helps break down the stigma for those who must seek help, and provides useful advice and access to research. “I created the website as I’d seen friends and colleagues suffer, struggle and sadly breakdown and not reach out as they didn’t know what help was available,” he said.

“I receive a lot of positive feedback about the impact having access to this information has on emergency services members and their families.’’ If you have concerns about your mental health you can contact SAPOL’s Employee Assistance Program or seek help from Lifeline on 131 114 or and Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or 

I have now returned to full operational duties with no long-term effects so in essence I’m proof the system does work. BL UEPR IN T ISSUE 1 ~ 2 0 1 8



A GAME CHANGER FOR INVESTIGATIONS A new investment in investigation and intelligence is already paying dividends for SAPOL. The Investigation Support Desk (ISD) – one of the cornerstones of SAPOL’s new District Policing Model – is now fully operational and providing valuable aroundthe-clock support and assistance to frontline police across the state.


omprising five detective sergeants and 15 intelligence officers across five teams, the ISD takes a holistic state-wide view of all active incidents and is able to identify crime series

Investigations Supervisor Sergeant Simon Smithies.

and modus operandi rapidly, thereby providing a greater forward-facing intelligence capability. Officer in Charge of Communications Group, Superintendent Ian Parrott believes this capability, combined with investigative leadership, is driving favourable outcomes for SAPOL and the community. “The ISD monitors the South Australian Computer Aided Dispatch (SACAD) information in real-time across the state, providing SAPOL with an enhanced initial response capability,” he said. “While the ownership of incident command and control remains the responsibility

of frontline police, the ISD provides effective real-time resource management and support during operational incidents. “The ISD also plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of officers and the community by interrogating systems to ensure that frontline police are not walking into situations that are going to put them at greater risk.” The ISD is already providing benefits in actively assisting the frontline, either working in partnership with Local Service Area (LSA) intelligence and CIB, or in providing an expanded 24/7 intelligence and investigational support capability.

“We have already seen several instances where the ISD has provided information to patrols to reduce the time it takes to locate offenders or missing persons,” Superintendent Parrott said. “We have also received positive feedback from larger operational jobs where ISD support has been invaluable.” Superintendent Parrott says it’s important that officers are aware of the ISD and how it can assist them, particularly after hours, with a number of enhancements being developed to improve the capabilities of ISD services. “The ISD will soon use a new electronic platform to create and disseminate timely intelligence briefings to frontline staff and the intelligence portfolio, ensuring members have current information on which to act and make decisions. The platform will also be used to produce incident notification reports to promptly inform managers and members of significant incidents,” he said.

Intelligence Officers Brevet Sergeants Kimberley Harris and Bryony Shapley and Sergeant Smithies at the ISD. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.


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AN INTELLIGENT APPROACH Brevet Sergeant Jason Vesey is one of 15 intelligence officers based at the Police Communications Centre. The former Field Intelligence Officer at Serious and Organised Crime Branch thinks the ISD could be a ‘game changer’ if it is developed to its full potential. “My role involves accessing information from various sources to assist frontline police with preliminary investigations, with the aim of quickly identifying offenders, offences and providing lines of enquiry,” he said. “This information allows officers to implement strategies for a quick resolution, therefore reducing the need for future demand on SAPOL resources.” Despite still being in its infancy, the ISD has already enjoyed some great success. “Intelligence officers at the

ISD are in a unique position to ‘oversee’ crime across the state. This allows for the identification of crime series that may not have been identified by other areas of SAPOL,” Brevet Sergeant Vesey said. “Utilising SACAD and various other systems, I was able to identify a recidivist petrol drive-off offender who had committed 22 petrol drive-off offences, in multiple vehicles, across LSAs over an 18-month period. “Another successful investigation involved a woman who phoned her friend, stating she was being held against her will at an unknown location by a male who had sexually assaulted her. Working alongside the Communications Centre and frontline police, we utilised various resources including taxi fare information to determine an address of interest. As a result, we successfully located

our victim and a male was apprehended.” The ISD was also integral to successfully resolving a reported abduction in January 2018. After receiving a report of a woman being detained in a house, patrols attended the location but found nothing and requested the job be closed. The ISD Detective Sergeant became aware of the job and was able to make some other enquiries. They then spoke with attending patrols and the supervisor and provided advice regarding further investigation avenues as they were potentially dealing with a homicide. “ISD intelligence officers identified the victim as a current missing person from Victoria in a volatile relationship with her partner who was wanted for various SAPOL and interstate matters. He then became the suspect. The ISD Detective Sergeant liaised with the local CIB who were briefed and

provided advice and support,” Superintendent Parrott said. ISD members engaged with Victoria Police and SAPOL’s Missing Persons Section. A phone call to the suspect established that the victim was no longer being held at the house but was now in his company. “ISD Intelligence members identified a separate incident in Tanunda that fitted the description of the suspect, victim and a stolen vehicle, with reports of the suspect dragging the victim into the car while verbally threatening her,” Superintendent Parrott said. “The vehicle was subsequently located by patrols and a high-risk vehicle stop executed, with the victim found safe and unharmed. “These successful results highlight how the ISD can be a valuable tool for the frontline when used effectively.” 

The ISD provides effective real-time resource management and support during operational incidents. BL UEPR IN T ISSUE 1 ~ 2 0 1 8




WORLD OF DIFFERENCE With her father being a police officer and grandfather having served in the military police, a policing career seemed the natural choice for a then teenage Taryn Trevelion.


owever, it was a combination of a university course that didn’t pique her interest, experience working unusual hours in the hospitality industry and the appeal of a dynamic job environment that ultimately convinced her to embark on a policing career. It has proven to be a wise choice. Since graduating in 1993, Sergeant Trevelion has


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enjoyed an exemplary career encompassing general duties and supervisor roles before landing her current position as supervisor of the Salisbury Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) in 2012. The popular Sergeant is renowned for her leadership and the genuine care and concern she has for both her colleagues and those she assists in the community.

As supervisor of the Salisbury NPT Sergeant Trevelion has been able to effectively balance the reactive and proactive policing requirements by providing a visible and accessible team that is responsive to local concerns while maintaining a focus on reducing crime. “The job involves many challenges from trying to devise problem solving

solutions with the team, to issues of volume crime or crime series within the NPT areas,” she said. “I have a highly supportive manager and four dedicated team members who are knowledgeable and experienced which creates a great working environment and generates significant results.” While she doesn’t see herself as a community leader, the well-respected supervisor is passionate about making a difference in the community. “It’s very satisfying when you’re able to follow something through and see the impact of positive outcomes, or how developing understanding can alleviate frustrations and bring people together on the same page,” Sergeant Trevelion said.

“There are many situations that NPT members have been able to put the extra time into, figure out the heart of the issues and liaise with government and external agencies to create solutions. In doing so, they’ve reduced repeat taskings for patrols to some of the problem addresses for neighbourhood disputes.” Salisbury NPT covers an ethnically diverse area comprising Mawson Lakes, Parafield Gardens, Paralowie and Salisbury North. “We make a considerable effort to form collaborative partnerships with multicultural groups through schools, religious sites, organisations, associations and businesses,” Sergeant Trevelion said. “By starting conversations and showing a genuine interest, we’re able to break down barriers and develop greater understanding that can only lead to better outcomes.” Sergeant Trevelion has developed strong working relationships with multicultural community groups, and

regularly attends and speaks at cultural and community events. In recent years she has become closely involved with the local Bhutanese community. She has established an extremely high level of trust, with community members having sought her assistance and support to deal with sensitive matters such as mental health and domestic abuse. “I started working with the Bhutanese community around four years ago after they raised concerns about being racially targeted in rock throwing incidents by local youth,” Sergeant Trevelion said. “We determined these incidents were random and allayed their fears. However, with a large majority of the Bhutanese migrants residing in the NPT suburb of Salisbury North this interaction soon expanded.” Sergeant Trevelion has collaborated with other agencies and SAPOL areas to run a road safety program for deaf Bhutanese people from the Salisbury TAFE AUSLAN class. She also

engages with the Bhutanese Torture Survivors Group, where she is held in high regard by people who have had negative experiences with authorities in their home country. “It has taken some time to develop a meaningful relationship with the community and generate trust and respect,” she said. “I initially partnered with the City of Salisbury’s Bhutanese Elders Group Social Support Program, presenting education sessions on topics such as home and personal security and domestic violence. “This resulted in me being approached for advice and assistance by members of this program as well as their extended

families, with an increase in their willingness to report matters and provide information to the police. “Word has also spread to other support agencies, which have also approached me on behalf of their clients to assist on various issues and formulate holistic responses.” Despite the challenges of full-time shift work while raising two young children, Sergeant Trevelion continues to lead by example. “I thoroughly enjoy my role as it allows me to be more hands-on and create effective working partnerships to deliver outcomes that improve community confidence,” she said.  Sergeant Taryn Trevelion with members of local multicultural communities. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

It’s very satisfying when you’re able to follow something through and see the impact of positive outcomes. BL UEPR IN T IS S U E 1 ~ 2 0 1 8



LIGHTING THE WAY Participating in SAPOL’s first Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) through Mount Gambier in 2010, Superintendent Scott Allison felt the true meaning of the Special Olympics movement.


s Police Commander he gave a clinical pre-event police briefing to athletes and their caregivers, families and supporters, but then noticed the smiles, excitement and sheer joy on the faces of the intellectually disabled athletes. “That captured my heart. I felt similar emotion during the event when I saw hardened police officers lose their tough facade and show their compassionate, warm and nurturing personalities


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when interacting with the athletes,” he said. “It proved to me that we can make a difference to these wonderful people and their families who face extraordinary and unimaginable challenges every day.” Eight years later, Superintendent Allison was one of hundreds of SAPOL staff who participated in LETR events across the state from 10 – 16 April. Torch runs were conducted in the Riverland, Iron Triangle, Murray Bridge, Mount Barker, Victor Harbor and the Adelaide metropolitan area, culminating in the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony for the 11th National Games of the Special Olympics on 16 April. Held from 16 – 20 April the Games attracted more than 1000 athletes, in excess of 700 support staff and around 3000 family and friends. It was the second time the world class event had been held in Adelaide following the successful 2010 Games. Senior Constable First

Class (SC1C) Mick Klose was struck by the feeling of community at the event. “There were some very committed athletes, with steely resolve, determination and fight; others were happy just to be there with fellow competitors,” he said. “For most of these athletes, sport is the only opportunity to be included, acknowledged and accepted by the ‘mainstream’ community.” After eight years of participating in the LETR SC1C Klose still finds it an enriching and rewarding experience. “Not often in our policing job are we greeted by groups of people who hold you in such high regard. To them, we are heroes; to us, they are inspiring,” he said. “To have athletes who, on first approach would hide or shy away, to within a couple of hours, having them give you the biggest heartfelt hugs, is something to behold and cherish.” As a member of SAPOL’s LETR Committee since

its inception in 2008, Superintendent Allison has seen how the Special Olympics experience has been increasingly embraced by SAPOL employees. “This year’s torch runs attracted unprecedented interest from staff. It was fantastic to see such strong support for this worthwhile cause,” he said. Torch runs are held across 46 countries, involving more than 90 000 police and other law enforcement officers. They join athletes as ‘guardians of the flame’, carrying the ‘Flame of Hope’ in a torch relay similar to the Olympic Games in the lead-up to local, national and international Special Olympics games. “The LETR and Special Olympics are all about inclusion – allowing people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to come together on a level playing field and participate in sport. It is about so much more than just winning,” Superintendent Allison said.

CARRYING A TORCH FOR SPECIAL ATHLETES The sight of his son Callum carrying the torch and lighting the flame at the opening of the Special Olympics Cricket Carnival two years ago filled Sergeant James Niederer with immense pride. “It was such a great thrill for Callum and indeed all of us,” he said. “Callum is a keen cricketer who has participated in the Special Olympics for the past four years. He has enjoyed the comfortable and welcoming environment and making new friends while playing the game he loves.” Sergeant Niederer believes the LETR is a valuable opportunity for police to positively engage with members of the special needs community. “The interaction between participants and police is a real positive. I have seen firsthand how this has broken down barriers,” he said. SC1C Colin Woollett

emphasises that the LETR is much more than just the torch runs held in conjunction with Special Olympics events. “LETR’s goal is to raise awareness and much needed funds to assist Special Olympics athletes and their families,” he said. “Our athletes are incredibly courageous in their sports and in their lives, but they need advocates and a strong voice to support them – LETR can be that voice.” The LETR committee member has been involved in the Special Olympics for the past 14 years through his son Lachy who has competed in basketball in several major events. In the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Shanghai, China, Lachy was a member of the first ever Australian men’s basketball team to win a gold medal on the world stage. In 2013 Lachy travelled to South Korea as an athlete ambassador where he participated in the LETR for the Special Olympics

World Winter Games. The only Australian athlete out of 10 chosen worldwide, he traversed the country with 10 law enforcement officers and the Flame of Hope, giving speeches along the journey. He is now an athlete representative on the Board of the Special Olympics. “It has been wonderful to see the enjoyment and growth in self-esteem that Lachy and his friends have obtained from their involvement in the Special Olympics,” SC1C Woollett said.

TOP: Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams with Special Olympics athletes and SAPOL LETR participants. ABOVE: The final leg of the

LETR in the city. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

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It was a senseless road death that devastated many. Around 6.30 am on Sunday, 20 August 2017, mother-oftwo Lucyna Paveley was driving to work when she was hit by a stolen Mitsubishi Pajero being driven at high speed at the intersection of McIntyre Road, Kings Road and Main North Road at Parafield. The 40-year-old was only 20 minutes from her Anglicare SA workplace at Elizabeth East when she became the innocent victim of a fatal hit-run.


hat followed was far from a routine major crash investigation into the cause and circumstances of the collision. A special SAPOL taskforce called Operation Halon was formed, pulling together the resources and expertise from several teams across SAPOL. Detective Chief Inspector Shane Addison, then Officer in Charge of Elizabeth Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), was called to the crash scene to command the investigation to identify and locate the suspects. “The crash scene was confronting, with debris spread over a substantial area. However, the most harrowing part of this collision was Major Crash Investigation Section (MCIS) members attending the victim’s home to inform her husband that she was deceased,” he said. “Her two young children woke to find their mother gone. It is difficult to envisage a more heart-rending or challenging role than that.”


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Officers from Elizabeth and Holden Hill Local Service Areas (LSAs) attended the scene soon after the crash and identified witnesses who confirmed the offending driver and passenger had fled the scene in a second vehicle (a Mazda 3) immediately after the collision. The Mazda was found abandoned in Paralowie around 8.30 am. A witness reported seeing a group of people fleeing on foot. “After quickly confirming the Mazda 3 was linked to the collision, police doorknocked houses along the route the group had fled and obtained CCTV footage from several houses,” Detective Chief Inspector Addison said. “Further investigation led us to a house in Paralowie. CCTV footage confirmed this was the house the five offenders had escaped to, but also showed them discarding evidence which is now crucial identification evidence against some of the suspects. “Searches of the house, examination of items located, further property seized inside

and interviews with occupants of the house resulted in the identification of the four youths and one adult involved.” Working around-the-clock, Elizabeth CIB and Volume Crime Team (VCT) members, along with Community Constables and human source managers, were able to identify and locate all five suspects, who were arrested within 35 hours of the crash. “Without their investigative skills, local knowledge, and pragmatic and flexible approach those initial breakthroughs may not have taken place or been significantly delayed. In addition, valuable evidence would almost certainly have been lost,” Detective Chief Inspector Addison said. “The work of Community Constables and human source managers was invaluable. They were able to tap into sources of information that otherwise would not have been available and used personal contacts to identify networks or associates and ultimately negotiate the surrender of two of the suspects.”

A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT Once all suspects’ identities were known, a full investigation was instigated. The Police Operations Centre was activated and Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan managed the overall investigation. As a direct result, a holistic approach was adopted with support being provided by Operation Mandrake members, Community

Constables, State Tactical Response Group, Sturt CIB, Public Transport Safety Branch, Holden Hill LSA, and Investigation Support Branch, amongst others, in the immediate aftermath. Following the initial arrests, Assistant Commissioners Paul Dickson and Bronwyn Killmier rapidly deployed a special task force (Operation Halon) to investigate the totality of the alleged offending. Within a week Detective Chief Inspector Addison took the lead of Operation Halon and resources were drawn for the two-month secondment from metropolitan CIB VCTs (Holden Hill, Western Adelaide and Eastern Adelaide), Serious and Organised Crime Branch, a Detective Senior Sergeant from Elizabeth CIB, a Field Intelligence Officer from Elizabeth Intel and two investigators from MCIS. Early liaison, regular briefings and consultation with Forensics Services Branch, Prosecution Services Branch and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) helped guide evidence collection, exhibit management, arrest plans and charging briefs to streamline and expedite the subsequent arrest/charging and prosecution processes. “The team prepared a broader and stronger brief of evidence that not only covered driving offences but also a multitude of other criminal offences,” Detective Chief Superintendent Shanahan said. “They discovered and linked crimes to these offenders that

ABOVE AND RIGHT: The traumatic

crash scene and the victim’s badly damaged vehicle. Photos: Major Crash Investigation Section.

would otherwise have gone undetected or unsolved. “Operation Halon enabled SAPOL to set a new benchmark in cross-service cooperation and collaboration with the ODPP.” Operation Halon was unprecedented in the speed with which SAPOL resources were brought together and the time frame in which the full brief of evidence was collected and filed, and the scope that was applied to the investigation into the driving that led to the death.

What followed was far from a routine major crash investigation. “By pooling multidisciplinary resources the Halon team was able to exhaustively reconstruct evidence of the crash as well as the alleged crime series in the hours leading up to the crash,” Detective Chief Superintendent Shanahan said. “We also developed a ground-breaking timeline

Chief Superintendent Shanahan said. “Operation Halon was a testament to what can be achieved when an innovative approach is taken to look beyond the immediate incident and pool relevant expertise and resources from across SAPOL.”

of offending and supporting evidence, visually mapping out the chronology of offences with video and photographs.” The adoption of a task force approach was crucial to the investigation’s success. “It allowed for a group of investigators with a mix of the relevant skills to be taken offline and concentrate on this single event,” Detective

Breaking new ground with Shield O

peration Halon saw SAPOL’s records management system Shield used successfully as a case management system for the entire investigation. This allowed greater accountability and coordination, and streamlined the sharing of time-critical information (including statements) to all involved. With seven months’ experience in using Shield as a case management tool in MCIS, Brevet Sergeant John Hong was tasked with training investigators in its use. “Shield enabled officers to more easily manage individual tasks and simplified the role of supervisors and managers in monitoring the progress of investigators and the investigation as a whole,”

he said. “In Shield, statements or leads for follow-ups can be assigned to investigators. Case meetings, discussions with external stakeholders and all associated documentation can all be uploaded to Shield for easy access and reference for all members involved in the investigation. “Operation Halon involved thorough and tireless police work from investigators, with Shield providing the support and key reference base which allowed team members to operate more efficiently and provided management with an excellent tool to oversee the investigation.” Operation Halon investigators obtained more than 160 statements and over 5800 clips of CCTV footage. There were

82 individual witnesses and more than 60 police officers involved in various aspects of the investigation into the crime series and fatal collision involving five offenders and occurring over several metropolitan suburbs. “This is the largest and most complex investigation that has been casemanaged on Shield. It broke new ground for the software,” Brevet Sergeant Hong said. “Complicating the adjudication and court process was the fact that four offenders were juveniles and one an adult, meaning simultaneous court proceedings in Magistrates, Youth and District courts were occurring. “Without Shield’s ability to form the central pillar –

a single source for all the investigative material and involved people – managing the documentation and dissemination of the overlapping files would have been a much more onerous task. “At the end of the operation, using Shield allowed me to collate all the investigative materials and ensure they were distributed to the appropriate prosecuting authority in a much more efficient manner than would have previously been possible. “I think this case sets a precedent for how we can innovatively use technology like Shield to improve our operational and investigative capacity.” 

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Cadet David Angley uses a MRT at the Police Academy. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.


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MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IS A MATTER OF COURSE Cadets have been embracing emerging technology at the Police Academy, with 323 mobile rugged tablets (MRTs) provided by Information Systems and Technology Service (IS&T) as part of the recent Recruit 313 initiative.


anager of IS&T Innovation and Solutions Branch, Superintendent Scott Allison said the MRTs have entrenched mobility thinking into new recruits and created a new generation of police. “From day one of their training the cadets have

been exposed to the MRT and mobility. They have been required to complete their training and practical sessions using the device,” he said. “The focus on MRTs has been complemented by the provision of 25 body worn video cameras for cadet training and the creation of a dedicated environment for recruits to practice using the Shield records management application. “These technologies are now seen as ‘tools of trade’, with graduates expected to be competent in the use of emerging technologies when they leave the Academy.” With the Recruit 313 campaign drawing to a close, 150 MRTs will remain at the Academy for use by future recruits and the remainder will be moved into operational areas under the existing MRT roll-out. According to the Officer in

Charge of Foundation Training Section, Chief Inspector Rebecca Fulton the Academy could not have achieved the volume of training generated by Recruit 313 without access to MRTs. “The technology demands of such a large influx of recruits meant that we needed greater access to computers,” she said. “The MRTs have added to our capacity and enabled recruits to access systems and information almost instantaneously as well as offering them greater flexibility when they are required to work on the intranet or other systems.” Human Resource Development Branch reviewed the Constable Development Program at the commencement of Recruit 313 with the aim of converting as much learning material as possible to electronic media, transferring paper-

based handouts into digital media and creating some additional learning material electronically. “Each recruit is issued with their own MRT so they can take it home and study out of hours. This allows them greater flexibility and the ability to build on the learning they do during course hours,” Chief Inspector Fulton said. Cadet David Angley believes MRTs have enhanced his training experience. “The MRT is essentially a portable SAPOL computer – it’s like having your office computer with you all the time,” he said. “Using a MRT throughout my cadet course has enabled me to achieve greater competency with SAPOL’s processes and systems. It has prepared me well for my first policing role.” 

The MRT is essentially a portable SAPOL computer – it’s like having your office computer with you all the time. BL UEPR IN T ISSUE 1 ~ 2 0 1 8




n 2014 SAPOL introduced 250 smartphones, called Portable Data Terminals (PDTs), along with the SearchLite and FingerScan apps, to enable officers to conduct in-field database searches and fingerprint ID checks. Since the deployment of those 250 PDTs, the State Government approved the purchase and deployment of a further 350 PDTs. The PDTs have now been rolled out across the state for use by frontline patrols. In response to staff feedback about the use of PDTs, IS&T conducted a state-wide upgrade and redeployment of these devices, which was completed in November 2017. “The new enhancements ensure all PDTs have the ability to make and receive phone calls, send and receive SMS and MMS messages, capture images and video, and access a greater number of applications and approved websites,”

Superintendent Allison said. “Portable Finger Scan (PFS) devices are also being upgraded and replaced with the ‘SMUFS’ brand PFS devices. The new PFS devices are more reliable and have a longer battery life. “The information available by using the applications on the upgraded PDTs has the capability to improve operational awareness and officer safety.” Brevet Sergeant Glen Gitsham believes the PDT has enhanced his role in Public Transport Safety Branch. “The introduction of PDTs has de-cluttered the radio space, while dramatically improving detection of wanted persons of interest,” he said. “The PDT gives the

patrol officer on the street instant access to information and images, allowing them to conduct a thorough interrogation of a suspect through being able to verify their claims in real-time, in a way not possible via radio.” Brevet Sergeant Gitsham is impressed by the upgraded PDTs, particularly the new

SMUFS PFS device, which enables the voluntary capture and submission of a person’s fingerprints for checking against the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System. “The new fingerprint scanner is robust, fast, clear and extremely reliable, with a high level of accuracy,” he said. 

MAIN PHOTO: A PDT scans a driver’s licence. TOP: Senior Constable

Aljosa Severinski demonstrates a PDT to a community member.

The introduction of PDTs has de-cluttered the radio space, while dramatically improving detection of wanted persons of interest. 32

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BELOW: The SMUFS Portable Finger Scan device. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.


Brevet Sergeant Kimberly Bambery attends to victims during a counter-terrorism training exercise. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.



Dozens of casualties lay sprawled on the ground outside Adelaide Oval while a damaged white van sits idle nearby. With an active armed offender sending people into a frenzied panic and the area swarming with emergency service responders it appears to be a major terrorism incident. BL UEPR IN T ISSUE 1 ~ 2 0 1 8




hankfully it’s just a counter-terrorism training exercise, testing the response abilities of a large contingent of police, ambulance officers, rescue paramedics and firefighters. With Australia’s current National Terrorism Threat Level at ‘Probable’ such large scale training exercises are a crucial component of SAPOL’s preparation for a potential terrorism event. “Although impossible to replicate the tenseness and confusion of a genuine terror attack, the Adelaide Oval exercise and other similar events provide crucial experience in honing cooperation between emergency services, agencies and stakeholders,” said Officer in Charge of State Protective Security Branch (SPSB), Detective Superintendent Jim Jeffery. “SAPOL’s counterterrorism arrangements are embedded and regularly practiced to ensure they remain robust in the current threat environment. We are prepared and ready to respond should the need arise.” SAPOL is also regularly involved in practical exercises

run by the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC). “We were recently involved in Exercise Outback, a multi-jurisdictional exercise focused on the scenario of foreign fighters who have returned to Australia to plan terror attacks,” Detective Superintendent Jeffery said. “It provided a great insight into SAPOL’s investigational, surveillance and technical responses, and tested our collaboration and information sharing with other policing jurisdictions and Commonwealth security agencies.” The threat of terrorism in Australia is very real and persistent. Considerable work is being performed by SAPOL both nationally and within South Australia to counter violent extremist behaviour. SAPOL is an integral member of the ANZCTC which governs and coordinates counterterrorism activities nationally, and part of the Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) along with Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. “The JCTT is responsible

for proactive high level terrorism investigations. SPSB has responsibility for responding to all other terrorist acts in South Australia in collaboration with Commonwealth and state agencies,” Detective Superintendent Jeffery said. “New procedures for investigative response to terrorism incidents are currently being finalised. It is anticipated that these procedures will include the establishment of a cadre of specifically trained investigators that can be seconded into any task force required to investigate terrorism.” In recent months SPSB has undergone a restructure to enhance its response and investigative capabilities in the rapidly changing terrorism environment. Emergency and Major Event Section (EMES) has moved into SPSB, with a Security Preparedness Unit established within EMES with the main responsibilities of critical infrastructure, crowded places, counterterrorism exercise management and Project Griffen, which is a working relationship between SAPOL

and the private security industry. A new Counter Terrorism and Security Section (CTSS) comprising Protective Security Investigations Unit and Security Intelligence Unit has also been created, with CTSS soon to feature a Covert Online Security Team. “Allocations from Recruit 313 have provided additional resources in technical areas such as surveillance and improves our ability to manage the increase in National Security Hotline reporting,” Detective Superintendent Jeffery said. SPSB continues to work closely with Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) Group to heighten the effectiveness of investigations. “STAR Operations Section is primarily responsible for the tactical response to and resolution of terrorism incidents in South Australia,” said Officer in Charge of STAR Group, Superintendent David O’Donovan. “STAR Operations Section conducts regular training to practice and enhance skills, techniques and equipment used across the spectrum of low-risk, highrisk and counter-terrorism operations.”

TOP: Images from counter-terrorism

training exercises – Senior Sergeant First Class Michael Sampson with ambulance officers; STAR Operations members; and opposite page, Superintendents Matt Nairn and John De Candia with Metropolitan Fire Service staff at Adelaide Oval. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.


BL UE P R IN T I S S UE 1 ~ 2 0 1 8

ON FULL ALERT Recently, SPSB has spent significant time addressing the crowded places strategy to enhance the protection of pedestrians from hostile vehicles. According to Detective Inspector Darren Fielke, Officer in Charge of Counter Terrorism and Security Section, an indiscriminate attack on a large crowd using a hostile vehicle is the most likely

terrorist incident based on available intelligence. “We have been working closely with stakeholders such as councils and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure to improve safety in crowded places,” he said. “SAPOL has developed an online self-assessment tool and security audit to assist venue owners and operators in minimising the risk. Members of the Security Preparedness Unit have

We are prepared and ready to respond should the need arise.

also been interacting with stakeholders by discussing vigilance and inspecting their sites.” Community engagement has also been at the forefront of efforts to prevent extremism and radicalisation. “We actively engage with an extensive range of multicultural groups to help prevent individuals from being influenced by extremist groups,” Detective Inspector Fielke said. “We work closely with the AFP to drive the Islamic Leaders Advisory Forum which meets twice a year and we regularly meet with various Islamic communities.” The primary terrorist threat in Australia is from a small number of Islamic extremists, principally lone actors or small groups. However, individuals motivated by other ideological agendas also pose a danger. “SPSB has been investing a significant amount of time in monitoring and assessing right wing and left wing groups,” Detective Inspector Fielke said. “The branch also initiated the Statutes Amendment (Extremist Material) Act 2017 which came into operation on 23 January 2018 to assist in preventing and disrupting online radicalisation through prohibiting the possession, production and distribution of extremist material. This legislation provides us with additional opportunities to effectively disrupt radicalisation and prevent terrorism when compared with other jurisdictions.” In the past two years

SAPOL, through its involvement in the JCTT, has made two arrests for terrorism-related offending in South Australia – a 22-yearold female with alleged links to the Islamic State terrorist organisation and a 51-yearold male charged with advocating terrorism. “These were both confined incidents with no specific threat to the South Australian public,” Detective Superintendent Jeffery said. “The arrests highlight the thorough work of SPSB’s investigators whose primary role is to investigate security related reports and mitigate risk. Their success is measured by preventing terrorism and not by the number of arrests made.” Detective Superintendent Jeffery advises South Australians to go about their daily business as usual but exercise caution and remain vigilant. “The terrorist threat is not confined to major cities so we are by no means complacent. We will continue to strive to achieve an appropriate balance between protecting the public and maintaining the great lifestyle we enjoy in this state,” he said. It is important to be aware of the current National Terrorism Threat Level and to report any suspicious incidents to the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00. Life-threatening situations should be reported to the police by calling Triple Zero (000). 

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A SAFE AND CONNECTED COMMUNITY Since 1985, SAPOL and the community have worked together on the Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) crime prevention program to reduce the fear of crime and build resilience in local communities. To ensure the success and relevance of this relationship into the future, NHW has recently been reinvigorated, with a focus on a greater digital presence.


BL UE P R IN T IS S U E 1 ~ 2018


HW is riding a growing wave of renewed interest in the community thanks to SAPOL’s reinvigoration project attracting new Facebook followers and website visitors, and new groups launching. The revamped NHW website – nhw – has improved the online experience for users with its mobile-friendly design allowing a potential new audience, particularly younger people, to tap into NHW news and information. Officer in Charge of State Community Engagement Section, Chief Inspector Alex

Zimmermann believes the significant online presence will broaden NHW’s reach. “Most people now use their mobile devices to access information on the go, so a mobile-friendly design allows the website to be accessed by a wider demographic, especially those who aren’t traditional NHW members,” he said. “By housing it on the SAPOL website it not only

highlights NHW’s partnership with SAPOL but also provides exposure to another new audience – the 60 000-80 000 people that visit the SAPOL website each week.” The NHW website allows people to find their local group via suburb or postcode, see what NHW events are on, access relevant crime prevention tips, and also enables visitors to sign up to receive NHW news, including the Watch On SA magazine, directly to their device.

Also as part of the reinvigoration, SAPOL and NHW have run a modest advertising campaign on social media over recent months to increase awareness of NHW, promote safety tips and encourage traffic to the NHW website. NHW’s recent digital

investment and uptake has already achieved great results for the program. “More than 300 000 people have seen the advertising, with over 16 000 visitors to the website since its launch in November 2017. Our NHW Facebook page now has more than 2500 followers and since January more than 64 750 people have engaged with us via our Facebook posts,” Chief Inspector Zimmermann said. “Importantly, several new NHW groups have been launched by those under the age of 50, signalling an early change in NHW demographics. These include Lightsview, Morgan and Sanctuary Rise. ” These digital initiatives are integral to the new marketing strategy which focuses on connecting with a broader demographic of the South Australian community,

and underline Neighbourhood Watch’s new slogan: “A safe and connected community”. Underpinning this community focus is the appointment of the first NHW Ambassadors – Jodie Oddy from Mix 102.3 and Channel 10 and Mark Soderstrom from Mix 102.3 and Channel 7. The popular, well-known media identities will provide NHW with valuable media coverage and increase its relevance across a broad demographic. NHW has also become the principal partner of the Encounter Youth Party Safe Education™ program. The program involves Encounter Youth staff presenting to high school students all over the state, covering topics such as personal safety, how to party safely, and how these young adults can positively contribute to their community. “This is an amazing opportunity to reach a younger audience and remind young people that one voice can make a difference in their local area. Together, we help inspire social responsibility and encourage them to join their local

NHW group,” Chief Inspector Zimmermann said. The younger demographic has also been targeted with the introduction of NHW’s new dog mascot. Watcher Jeff was announced after a naming competition that generated more than 4500 comments on the NHW Facebook page and reached over 240 800 people, resulting in almost 300 suggested names. “Watcher Jeff has already become a popular community figure with appearances at the Christmas Pageant and Ride Like Crazy along with a prominent role in SAPOL’s Christmas video,” Chief Inspector Zimmermann said. “Watcher Jeff will enable NHW to engage with young people and their families in an innovative way. We hope that we can begin to instil in young people what it means to ‘look after your neighbour’ and eventually make it natural for them to become advocates of the program.” 


Jeff spreads the Neighbourhood Watch message to the next generation of members. Photo: Neighbourhood Watch SA.

This is an amazing opportunity to reach a younger audience and remind young people that one voice can make a difference in their local area.

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Moments in Time

END OF AN ERA A significant chapter in SAPOL’s history will come to an end on 4 July 2018 when the 43 members of the Holden Hill Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) are relocated as part of the District Policing Model (DPM). Holden Hill Police Station circa 1970.


ased at Holden Hill Police Station, the branch was established on 12 November 1967 with four inaugural members – Detective Sergeant Graham King, Detective Collin Woolford and Senior Constables Don Hay and Terry O’Toole. This was doubled in 1969 with the addition of Detective Sergeant Alex Palmer and Detectives Neville Collins, Vin Davies and John Carr. In 1971 the single men’s quarters above the police station were converted to accommodate the increasing size of the CIB. Three years later Detective Senior Sergeant Norm Davey was appointed Officer in Charge, with another seven officers joining the team, including Detective John White who later became Deputy Police Commissioner. The influx continued in 1975 when the majority of the defunct nine-member Prospect CIB was transferred to Holden Hill. By 1976 the branch had grown to 24 members, including then Senior Constable Jim Carter who is the oldest member of Holden Hill CIB currently serving in SAPOL. Nearly 40 years after leaving he has returned to relieve as Investigations Manager.

Due to the increasing numbers Holden Hill CIB was relocated to the vacant police house adjacent to the police station where it remained until 1984 when the new Holden Hill Police Station was officially opened. Holden Hill CIB has investigated numerous high profile cases over the past half century, with the 2012 manslaughter of four-year-old Chloe Valentine being one of the most notorious cases. Holden Hill CIB will leave a lasting legacy of high quality investigative work, a strong sense of camaraderie and many great memories for all those who served there. The expertise of existing members, however, will not be lost to SAPOL with members being mobilised across the DPM’s four new districts.

ABOVE: Main squad room in CIB office in 1983, and

TOP: Rick Bubner, Vic Butvilla, Derek Birch, Ken Griffith and Chris Bolt in 1985, and right, Detective Sergeant Alexander Palmer in 1967, and above, temporary CIB office in 1983. Photos: South Australian Police Historical Society.

left, Detective Senior Sergeant Norm Davey in 1985.

Blueprint magazine Issue 1 2018  

Blueprint is South Australia Police’s official magazine. In each issue you will find informative and engaging articles covering a broad rang...

Blueprint magazine Issue 1 2018  

Blueprint is South Australia Police’s official magazine. In each issue you will find informative and engaging articles covering a broad rang...