Out of the flames and into the fire
Sergeant Alicia Curchin is set to receive the Police Star after suffering horrendous burns to her face during an on-duty crash.
Much more than a punch
Little did Sergeant Martin Tanner know that a single blow to his jaw would open wounds which would lead him to seek psychological assistance.
Mounting the challenge
We check in with some of Mounted Sectionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two and four-legged recruits to see just how far they are willing to push themselves to make the team.
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POLICE NEWS THE MAGAZINE FOR THE WA POLICE UNION
Out of the flames and into the fire Sergeant Alicia Curchin speaks about the on-duty crash which left her with excruciating facial burns and why she had to defend herself against a criminal charge and civil lawsuit.
Much more than a punch Sergeant Martin Tanner opens up about the assault he suffered earlier this year and why he is urging officers to speak up seek help from Health Welfare and Safety.
06 WAPU DIRECTORS AND STAFF 08 P RESIDENT’S REPORT 20 FIELD LIFTOUT 23 LEGAL 30 I NDUSTRIAL REPORT 32 H EALTH 35 M EMBER BENEFITS 36 NEW MEMBERS, RETIREMENTS, RESIGNATIONS AND VALE
A life of service
Police Chaplain Reverend Canon Joe Newbold has retired after serving the WA Police Force for the past seven years.
39 FROM THE ARCHIVES
Mounting the challenge Police News met Mounted Section’s five new horses and spoke to two new riders who were put through their paces during the selection course.
4 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
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PUBLISHED BY WA Police Union 639 Murray Street West Perth WA 6005 (08) 9321 2155 ADVERTISING WA Police Union (08) 9321 2155 DISCLAIMER WAPU (“Publisher”) advises that the contents of this publication are the sole discretion of the WA Police Union and the magazine is offered for information purposes only. The publication has been formulated in good faith and the Publisher believes its contents to be accurate, however, the contents do not amount to a recommendation (either expressly or by implication) and should not be relied upon in lieu of specific professional advice. The Publisher disclaims all responsibility for any loss or damage which may be incurred by any reader relying upon the information contained in the publication whether that loss or damage is caused by any fault or negligence on the part of the Publishers, its Directors or employees. COPYRIGHT All materials in this publication are subject to copyright and written authorisation from WAPU is required prior to reproduction in any form. ADVERTISING Advertisements in this journal are solicited from organisations and businesses on the understanding that no special considerations other than those normally accepted in respect of commercial dealings, will be given to the advertiser. All advertising is undertaken in good faith and WAPU takes no responsibility for information contained in advertisements.
COVER Sergeant Alicia Curchin tells her incredible story. ABOVE First Class Constable Georgia Gibson, riding police horse Destiny, has recently joined Mounted Section. Photos: Jody D’Arcy.
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6 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
STEVEN GLOVER External Media Communications Manager
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7 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
HARRY ARNOTT President
The importance of Police Remembrance Day THERE IS NO DAY MORE IMPORTANT for us than when we gather to honour the sacrifice of our fallen police officers.
We urge you to wear the pin this month and to future Police Remembrance Day ceremonies, to pay respects to our fallen comrades.
National Police Remembrance Day on September 29, is a time to remember our brothers and sisters in blue who have lost their lives in the line of duty. On this day we pay tribute to the ultimate sacrifice these officers made for their communities and to their selfless bravery on the frontline. Our police officers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; brave mothers, fathers, sons and daughters put their lives on the line every single day dealing with unimaginable situations. So on this special day on the policing calendar, it is important we remember those who never made it home. You will have noticed that included with this edition of Police News is a National Police Remembrance Day pin. We urge you to wear the pin this month and to future Police Remembrance Day ceremonies, to pay respects to our fallen comrades. This year, I will attend the National Police Remembrance Day Perth Ceremony at the WA Police Academy and will wear my pin with pride and honour. I encourage you to do the same. The Police Federation of Australia acknowledged the importance of this significant day and commissioned a commemorative $2 coin to mark the 30th anniversary of Police Remembrance Day. Police News has delivered the stories of remarkable, brave and noble men and women who have faced tremendous challenges and confronting situations. In many of these stories, these officers have lived to tell the tale. Others have not been so lucky. It is important for the community to recognise the tough job our police officers do, so please stand with us this month and remember them. We strongly encourage all of our Members serving, retired or resigned, to stand together at a ceremony to remember our fallen colleagues. These poignant ceremonies are a testament to the dedication of our police force â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as is the large attendance of Members and the community each year.
You can find a list of ceremonies you can attend on our website. We will remember them.
#LightItUpBlue As part of our efforts to highlight the importance of National Police Remembrance Day, WAPU has organised for a number of key buildings and landmarks to be lit up blue in honour of our fallen brothers and sisters. Elizabeth Quay, Fremantle Prison, Matagarup Bridge, Trafalgar Bridge, Optus Stadium and Yagan Square will be illuminated blue for periods on Friday, September 27 and Sunday, September 29. While in regional WA, the Bunbury Koombana Bridge and Geraldton Queens Park Theatre will also take part. We hope this activation will help to highlight the importance of National Police Remembrance Day to the broader community. We will be promoting this through our social media channels in the lead up and using the hashtag LightItUpBlue.
INDUSTRIAL AGREEMENT UPDATE At the time of going to print, we have been unable to reach a negotiated outcome to replace the existing Industrial Agreement and it appears more than likely we will need to move into arbitration. Government have presented three disrespectful offers, which the Board of Directors have rejected. The McGowan Government fails to acknowledge that police officers are different and that we need certain improvements to our working conditions. The Union has moved significantly from our initial log of claims in an effort to find a middle ground with Government. Our initial log of claims sought a 38-hour working week, the spirit behind this initiative was more time away from the frontline due to the trauma we see.
EM WE WILL REMEMBER TH For a long time arbitration has been seen as a no-go zone but now it appears that it is our best chance to get the outcome we deserve.
Captain Theophalus Elli s Constable John Dalton Aboriginal Assistant Jac
k Mogalwert Constable Thomas Knibb s Inspector Frederick Pan ter Constable William Goldw yer
Constable Walter Gee
Constable William Griffis Constable William McKer
nan Constable William Armstr ong Constable Patrick Hacke tt Constable Joseph O’Con nell Aboriginal Assistant Jim my Parrish Sergeant Richard Troy Constable Herbert Bosvi lle Constable Joseph Collin s Constable W C Richardso n
Aboriginal Assistant Rocke Constable Ernest Blenco
Constable Richard Mills Constable Harry Thoma
2226 s 235 4
Constable Hamish Burns Constable Kenneth Flatt Constable Noel Iles 2901 Constable Robin Bell 345 Constable George Winter Constable Colin Cusack
2760 7 2759
3332 Constable Terence Sulliva n 3642 Constable Kenneth Heary 3677 Constable Ashley Godfrey 3925 Constable Terrence O’Sulli van 3893 Constable Raymond Pri tchard 4432 Constable Paul Tyrrell 432 1 Traffic Crash Hamilton Hil l
Constable Graham Brown Detec tive Constable Iva
n Smith 4406 Constable Malcolm Stanaw ay 5453 Gregor 83 Constable Franklin Bettle Aboriginal Assistant Dic s 4798 key First Class Constable Wil Aboriginal Assistant Dong liam Pense 3057 Senior Constable James Aboriginal Assistant Wa Oswald 5906 llaby Detec tive Senior Constabl Constable John Hamley e Arthur Douglas 6050 532 Detec tive Sergeant Steph Constable Bertram Fletch en Hughes 5597 er 550 Constable Stephen Knigh Constable Frank Buttle 102 t 8416 Detec tive Sergeant Geoff Inspector Herbert Thoma rey Bowen 5507 s 94 Constable Nathan Duckh Constable John McClay 1129 am 9003 Detec tive Inspector Joh Rec rui t Ga ry Kep ple r n Walsh 67 Detec tive Sergeant Alexan Detec tive Senior Constabl der Pitman 425 e Charles Scott 6452 Constable Wilfred Read First Class Constable Da vid Gaunt 6363 Sergeant Alexander Mark Senior Constable Jane Ken 472 naugh 7338 Inspector Stanley Lewis Constable Peter Ball 973 927 4 Constable Laurence Buzza Constable Cheryl Klump 1804 er 10034 Detec tive Constable Carl Co nst abl e Ma rk Loohuys 9856 Roe 1823 Constable Jim Brooks 209 De tec tive Sen ior Constable Michael Jenkin 4 s 8696 Constable Reuben McDo Co nst abl e Ga vin Capes 10305 nald 2098 Constable Donald Stewa First Class Constable Da rt 1988 vid Dewar 9178 Constable Laurence Tul Sen ior Constable Donald Eve ly 1528 ret t 4600 Sergeant Edgar Morrow Senior Constable Philip 1302 Ruland 7877 Constable Frank Morton Senior Constable Jamie 2461 Pearson 9472 Constable Edmund Gray Co nst abl e Damien Murphy 11212 1652 Constable Peter McManu Firs t Cla ss Constable Dennis 'Den' s 1938 Green 14410 9 Constable Alexander Mc
Kind regards, H.
Constable John Nicholso Aboriginal Assistant Willy
Our negotiated position which we agreed to present to Members is an extra week of annual leave. The Government offered us one day. So the tipping point for arbitration appears to be the McGowan Government’s refusal to grant us a paltry 32 hours rest for police officers. We maintain our counter offer is within the State Government Wages Policy. We understand the fiscal climate and we are not asking for anything unreasonable. We need time away from the frontline for our ongoing mental health but the Government does not appreciate that. The Union has engaged the State's pre-eminent industrial Senior Counsel Mark Ritter to represent us in arbitration. Mr Ritter has outlined what arbitration will mean for Members in a video which has already been shown at some Branch Meetings and is available for all Members to view via our website. For a long time arbitration has been seen as a no-go zone but now it appears that it is our best chance to get the outcome we deserve. We strongly encourage you to watch Mr Ritter's explanation of the process on our website, as it is clear, concise and will provide you with a simple picture of what arbitration means for you. We will be providing further briefings in relation to the IA negotiations at Branch Meetings. Therefore, it is important that Members take the time to attend their Branch's next meeting.
OUT OF THE FLAMES AND INTO THE FIRE BY JESSICA ELPHICK
10 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
ooking at Sergeant Alicia Curchin today, you would be hardpressed to see any visible reminders of a horrific incident that rocked her life 15 years ago. Her skin shows little evidence of the serious burns that engulfed the left side of her face. But speaking to Alicia, and uncovering the chain of events following the inferno, reveals a deeper truth. Police officers like Alicia routinely put themselves on the line for the community day-in and day-out. Usually, they have the support of management when they are executing their duties to the best of their ability. However, Alicia’s story has a darker undercurrent. Yet, despite the unfair treatment and legal burden that followed, Alicia continues to have the same passion for policing she had when she joined the job more than two decades ago. It was February 17, 2004. The summer sun was rising high in the sky, on its way to a top of 34 degrees. Then North West Metropolitan Traffic Probationary Constable, now Detective Sergeant, Keith Tarver and Alicia had left their Mirrabooka office and started the day by helping children to safely cross the road to their Bayswater school. They then headed into the city to attend the WAPU office. But heading back to Mirrabooka on the Mitchell Freeway, a dangerous sight greeted them. A rogue tyre seemed to have come loose from a large vehicle and was pummelling along the freeway, bouncing along at speed. Ironically, Alicia remembers turning to Keith at the time and saying this spinning tyre was going to cause an accident. Cars were swerving and stopping to avoid being hit. Keith remembers fearing the tyre could hit and seriously injure a motorcyclist. Driving the older style unmarked police car, Keith took out the blue light from the passenger side and mounted it to the roof. Alicia and Keith both remember pulling over to the northbound emergency lane of the freeway, near the Powis Street exit. At this time, the tyre had come to rest near the middle of the freeway. Alicia remembers reversing the white sedan back along the emergency lane. The plan was to slowly merge and force traffic to exit the first few lanes and go around the tyre in the outside lane, making it safe to remove. “I crept from the emergency lane as I got a clearance to the first lane and slowly edged across to lane two,” Alicia recalls. “The last thing I remember was Keith had his hand on the door handle and he was just about to get out of the vehicle and I said wait, let me move the car on more of an angle to protect him as he got out of the car.” Due to the horrific injuries that will follow, Alicia’s memory stops there. However, Keith remembers that day like it was yesterday. He was just a probationer at the time, taken under Alicia’s wing and eager to learn the ropes. ▷
POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
“It sounded and felt like a bomb had gone off in the car. There were flames everywhere.”
12 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
He saw vehicles flipping the tyre into the air from a long way back and agreed that the officers needed to stop and take it off the road. He said Alicia carefully moved across to the emergency lane, reversed and then gently crept across each lane when it was safe to do so. “I was looking across from my right shoulder behind Alicia,” Keith told Police News. “She was leaning forward checking the traffic and I was checking traffic. Everybody had moved to that outside lane. I wouldn’t have got out otherwise. We were fine. We were in a great position. I could see everybody was doing what we expected them to do. I could see the debris on the road close enough for me to step out of the vehicle and take a hold of it.” Then, just like an explosion in an action movie, time stood still and all sound disappeared. They were hit. Keith recalls tiny shards of glass passing through the windows and raining down in front of their faces. Everything was in slow motion. The shards soon turned to a glitter prism as the flames rose around the car. Then, just as suddenly as the sound disappeared, it came back with a roar. “It sounded and felt like a bomb had gone off in the car. There were flames everywhere,” Keith said. A truck had slammed into the police car at the perfect angle to split the fuel tank in half. The impact has propelled the car metres forward and spun it around. The fuel must have spread across the rear of the vehicle and was ignited by the exhaust.
The flames rolled over the bonnet, through the broken windscreen and into the car. The impact of the crash had slammed Alicia forward against the steering wheel and an object from the rear of the car also smashed into the back of her head. She was unconscious and not moving. Keith’s first instinct was to check that Alicia was still alive. He yelled out to her and checked for a pulse. She was alive. He quickly undid both of their seatbelts and tried to push her face and head as far away from the flames as he could. “I tried to recline her seat but I couldn’t, so eventually I forced her seat to collapse backwards so she was at least laying away from the broken windscreen,” he said. Before even trying to leave the car himself, he leaned over Alicia to try and open her door, but it wouldn’t budge. Keith then tried to release Alicia’s feet which were caught up under the accelerator and brake pedals. He could feel the intense heat rising up around them both. The plastic on the inside of the car was now dripping onto their skin. “There were flames everywhere. There was smoke everywhere. It was just getting hotter and hotter while I was trying to free Alicia,” he said. Keith didn’t know how he was going to get Alicia out of the car. Then, out of nowhere, a pair of hands appeared through the rear passenger door. A voice said “push her back to me”. Keith managed to free her legs and pass Alicia through to the brave civilian with seconds to spare. They dragged Alicia across to the side of the road with just enough time to see the police vehicle tyres explode and a fireball completely engulf the car. Keith’s concerns did not stop there. Because of the large fire, motorists and civilians had come very close. Keith had to warn them to get back. But he couldn’t leave Alicia on the side of the road unconscious with a loaded weapon. In a second act of serendipity, an off duty or undercover officer produced their police ID to Keith and told him that he would take care of Alicia. Keith was then able to tell the motorists to get back and potentially save tens of people from being injured by the fire.
The OIC of North West Metropolitan Traffic at the time, Senior Sergeant Larry Morgan, along with Sergeant Brian Keed arrived just as Alicia and Keith were being placed in the ambulance ready to head to Royal Perth Hospital. The only information Larry had at the time was there had been a very serious crash involving his officers. But what greeted him at the scene was truly horrifying. Twisted, black, burnt metal was all that remained of the police car. The insides were completely gutted and fire fighters were putting out spot fires along the roadside. He didn’t expect to see his officers alive. “Then I saw Keith Tarver. His shirt had split open down the back. He then said Alicia is in the ambulance,” Larry said. “I was very happy to see she was still alive!” Alicia doesn’t remember the ambulance ride to RPH but does remember waking up in the emergency department and seeing Larry and then Commissioner Barry Matthews standing at the foot of her bed. Her mother was at her side. Her first question was about the welfare of her partner Keith. Keith suffered burns to his left arm, cuts and abrasions and broken and cracked teeth. “I just remember people saying ‘you’re ok, you’re ok’,’ she said. “I didn’t feel any pain, I didn’t even know why I was in hospital for. I didn’t know what time of day it was and I don’t remember being burnt.” The next few hours saw Alicia float in and out of consciousness. But the next time Alicia woke up, she was in the RPH burns unit, freezing cold. Her nerves had gone into shock. Alicia suffered burns to the left side of her face from the middle of her scalp, over her forehead, down her nose and around her left ear and eye. Luckily, because Alicia’s eyes were closed after being rendered unconscious, her sight was not affected. Alicia was under the care of burns specialist Professor Fiona Wood who initially believed the burns were superficial and might heal within four weeks. But further investigation revealed the skin was completely dead and the treatment and recovery process would be far more difficult. What followed was gruelling, excruciating and utterly agonising.
“I had to scrape the skin off myself in the shower. I had to do that three times a day.”
“I had to scrape the skin off myself in the shower,” she said. “I had to do that three times a day. I would be crouched over or sitting on a chair in the shower just crying because it would be so painful.” She felt extremely vulnerable and exposed. But the support she received from her colleagues, friends and family helped her endure the pain. Nearing the end of her recovery in the burns unit, Alicia had to be moved into the general ward. The beds were needed for a number of people burnt by a bomb blast in Indonesia. “Unfortunately, I was maybe released too early, I don’t know, but when I went to the ward I got a staph infection which ate the skin even further. The bacteria just started eating the flesh away.” The painful routine of scraping the dead skin from Alicia’s face started again. During her treatment, Alicia was one of the first people in Australia to take part in a trial of Professor Wood’s new ‘spray on skin’. This was where tissue engineering technology enabled skin cell clusters to be delivered via aerosol onto Alicia’s face to form new skin. After some months, Alicia was finally released home. Although, she was required to return to RPH every day to have dressings and her bandages changed. It was during her time at home that she contracted a second staph infection. “There’s no explanation as to why I got it. The infection just started to eat away the skin and the skin graft so it was almost like I had to start all over, scraping the skin off again,” she said. Alicia was now booked in for her second skin graft. “This time they took a couple of layers of skin from underneath my arm,” she said. But the outcome wasn’t as good as they hoped. “Even the staff were quite baffled as the skin kept peeling away so we had to trial all these different types of bandages. In the end, I was going back and forth to the hospital for six months every day.” Eventually, the cells took hold and a new layer of skin smoothed over her painful burns. ▷
01 The view from the drivers side of the police vehicle. 02–04 The police car was completely destroyed and its call sign was retired. 05 Alicia's face two days afer the incident.
13 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
Whilst Alicia was enduring the painful burns treatment and two staph infections, another grenade was thrown her way. Alicia found out that she had been charged by way of summons for careless driving. The summons wasn’t even served personally, it was just left in her pigeon hole at work while she was still recovering. “It was heart wrenching,” Alicia said. “Why was I being punished for trying to save someone else’s life?” “When I was in hospital, I had Commissioner Matthews and my OIC telling me I had done everything right as per protocols and policies, I wasn’t to blame.” Commissioner Matthews was even quoted in the daily newspaper at the time as saying: “There was a tyre on the roadway and they stopped and carried out the correct procedure to get it off.” Keith said the agency charging Alicia left a very sour taste in his mouth. “I was angry to be honest. Out of everything that took place, she was the victim in all this,” Keith said. “I saw her on the day she went into hospital and she was still herself. The following day I went in to see her and she still looked like herself, but a couple days later when I went in, I couldn’t recognise her. I couldn’t have picked her out of a list. The injuries were awful. Then to be told, we as an agency think it’s your fault… it’s not good. I wasn’t impressed.” Neither was her OIC Larry, so the pair took advice from WAPU lawyer Carol Adams. “My OIC helped to do some preliminary investigations with Carol, and there were some things that weren’t investigated on my behalf,” Alicia said. “There were some witnesses that had contrary evidence that didn’t speak to the police. Such as one witness who believed they saw the truck driver on his mobile phone. My OIC found a mobile phone at the location, but no one admitted to owning it,” she said. “As we were reading the statements, no one actually saw the whole incident from beginning to end. But obviously, the investigator thought they had enough to proceed.” Alicia was preparing to fight the charge when a commissioned officer intervened and deemed that it was not in the public interest to prosecute. The charge was dismissed. Alicia said although the pain from the burns was severe, nothing compared to the doubt placed in her mind by the charge. She second-guessed herself and her actions that day. It was made worse by her lack of memory. But Keith has never forgotten. “I told investigators that when I put my hand on the door handle, that it was safe. I wasn’t going to put my life on the line for no reason just to move a tyre. We were sure. Not just Alicia, we were sure that the road was clear of oncoming traffic and it was safe for us to clear the debris from the road,” he said. “She did nothing wrong and she didn’t do anything that I wouldn’t have done if I were in the driver’s seat.” Returning to work lifted Alicia’s sprits enormously, despite suffering the stress from a potential legal fight. It gave her a sense of purpose and she reconnected with her work colleagues. It also gave Alicia an insight into other areas of policing, such as HR and administration. “It was more depressing being at home and not being able to do anything,” she said. 14 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
“It was heart wrenching. Why was I being punished for trying to save someone else’s life?”
The truck driver … was suing Alicia personally for compensation.
“She did nothing wrong and she didn’t do anything that I wouldn’t have done if I were in the driver’s seat.”
Alicia said she had no hesitation returning to work after the crash and when it came time to get out on the road, her memory failure actually aided her recovery. “There was no hesitation because I couldn’t remember the accident. I was fine driving, I was fine going past where the accident happened. I also had the support from the guys at work, my colleagues. We had a good team environment. But I also had the Gropers, the WA Police basketball team, they were supportive as well,” she said. There was definitely new beginnings for Alicia after the fire, including a new baby. However, one last shocking twist was soon to unfurl in Alicia’s story. The truck driver, who had now returned from his holiday overseas, was suing Alicia personally for compensation. “I had to go get a private lawyer and relay the whole case all over again and start from scratch,” she said. The truck driver was suing for 100 per cent of the compensation payout from the Insurance Commission of WA. It is understood that the summons Alicia received, although it never went ahead, opened the door for the truck driver to sue Alicia. “I still believed that wasn’t right so I had to continue to fight that battle.” The long process, on top of what Alicia had already been though, was too much. With a new family to think about, Alicia settled out of court. However, the legal fees alone amounted to $20,000 without ever stepping foot into a courtroom. “I just wanted it to be finished and move on,” she said. And move on she did. As a direct result of Alicia’s experience, she was invited to participate on a panel to improve the lighting on unmarked police cars. Because of her input, the unmarked cars today have a wider range of integrated lights making them easier to see. She also has used her experience as an officer who was on long-term sick leave to help other officers. “I’m always going to care for people, that’s one of the reasons why I joined the job. But I think I’ve got more understanding and care for when another officer gets injured. Sometimes, you might get too busy to visit them at home, but I know how important it is to have that familiar face and contact,” she said. Despite it all, Alicia said she has not once considered leaving the police force. “I still love the job. I still enjoy it. I guess because I did have that support and the backing from the Union and the backing from my colleagues and family,” she said. Now, some 15 years later, Alicia is set to receive the Police Star in recognition of her injuries whilst carrying out her duty that day. Larry said he nominated Alicia because while her colleague Keith was externally acknowledged for his bravery, Alicia was never commended. “I felt it necessary for her to be nominated by me to make her peers aware of her situation and how she had dealt with the incident and the aftermath,” he said. “I also believe that she is worthy of such recognition by the entire police force,” Larry said.
Much more than a punch
BY STEVEN GLOVER
Little did Martin Tanner know that a single blow to his jaw while trying to affect an arrest would open wounds which would lead him to seek psychological assistance. Sergeant Tanner was working on the Perth Bike Team in March this year, when he and his partner came across a man passed out in the Murray Street Mall after consuming too much alcohol. Martin and his partner helped the man and his mates, made sure that he was just intoxicated, helped in arrangements to get him home and decided to get on with their patrol. As they started to ride away, one of the man’s mates voiced his disgust that the police officers had left them. “The guy shouts at the top of his voice ‘fucking arseholes’ at us. I was not having that so we turned around,” Martin told Police News. “My offsider has gone to the guy ‘hey, what are you doing? There is no need for that.’ And the guy is repeatedly swearing.” So, Martin advised the man that he would be receiving a move-on order and that he needed to be careful otherwise he could be facing a fine for disorderly behaviour. All the while, the man was still shouting and carrying on. “My colleague is talking to him, I’m writing out a move-on order and I’ve just gone enough is enough, you are getting arrested. I literally walk around to him, book in one hand, handcuffs in the other. There is no threat at this stage, he doesn’t show any threat whatsoever other than swearing,” Martin said. At that point, Martin faces the man to place him under arrest when the man steps back, moves his arm, clenches his left fist and lands a blow direct to the right side of Martin’s chin, spinning him backwards with the force. “Now at this point I’m out of it,” Martin said. “I can’t remember anything from here. As far as my memory is, there is a step which is grey and to me I was looking straight down at the step for about five or six seconds, which clearly it is not as I spin straight around.” 16 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
CCTV of the incident shows Martin is dazed for a split second, looking in the direction of the grey step, while the man turns his attention to his partner. The man throws a punch which collects the constable’s shoulder and bike helmet. The constable pulls out his Taser and directs it at the man. Martin, concussed by the blow, re-engages and follows the man as he falls back. “At that point, the first thing I can remember because I greyed out after the punch is being on his back, handcuffing him and saying to my partner you’ve got to take this because I am out of it. He took the handcuffs and that is the last thing I can remember. I was still up and around but I can’t remember anything.” Martin was taken to hospital where he was initially advised that he would need surgery to repair his broken jaw but later it was not required. He was also nursing a significant concussion and large gash on his chin from the incident. Following the incident, the offender pleaded guilty to assaulting a public officer in prescribed circumstances and was sentenced to six months in prison. While in hospital, Martin was visited by his inspector and senior sergeant who he said were extremely supportive. “There was no pressure at all through his whole incident, no pressure, about getting me back to work. It was all about getting me better and then come back to work after that,” Martin said. An inspector moved Martin off his bike team and told him to focus on his recovery. “The inspector contacted me and said: ‘I want you here but I don’t need you here. I need you to understand that. You go away and get yourself better and when you are ready to come back we will sort out your bike team. This was excellent leadership as it took all work-related pressures off of me.” ▷
“I can’t remember anything from here. As far as my memory is, there is a step which is grey and to me I was looking straight down at the step for about five or six seconds, which clearly it is not as I spin straight around.”
17 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
Martin had over two months on a soft diet while his jaw healed but it was from early on that he was experiencing bizarre dreams. “I had some weird dreams all related to this colour grey,” he said. “The last dream that I had I was fighting in the American civil war. The Confederates were firing cannonballs at us and one hit me in the face. I woke up and thought why am I having dreams about the Confederate army? So I looked up the Confederates and the grey uniforms were the same colour as the step. “So my brain had rationalised that I got hit with a cannonball.” The dreams lead Martin to engage with the psychologists at Health, Welfare and Safety Division. “I spoke with the psychs and said why am I having the dreams? It was explained I couldn’t remember what happened as my brain was not recording correctly. It is like getting a recording DVD player and shaking it, it doesn’t record. The DVD is going to skip and your brain is exactly the same but your brain doesn’t like not knowing what happened. “This is where I had the anxiety because I looked at the video, thinking it was wrong. Now I can say the video is right, my brain recording is right, they just don’t match. “My memory is that I was looking down at the step and then I turned around. Clearly it’s not what happens but I remember getting smacked, the pain, the greyness that came in and looking at this step going woah, I’ve really got to get back stuck in because my partner needs me but that happens in a nanosecond, whereas in my brain recording it takes about five, six seconds, so a complete mismatch.” When Martin was physically ready to return to work, he was put on a gradual return to work program assisted by the Vocational Rehabilitation Unit. He was about to return to work, but it was at home where he realised he wasn’t ready psychologically. 18 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
“Back then was more about what do I need to do to get back to work quickly? This time it has been, don’t worry about it. Let the docs and the med staff dictate everything, there is no rush. It now appears much more person focused instead of agency focused.”
“I was sitting at home and my daughter chucked a cushion at me and it hit me in the face. I had a massive panic attack. I ran from my front room into my bedroom and I remember lying on my bed crying my eyes out for no reason. So I didn’t say anything about that although I should have done.” Two days later, it happened again. Playing with his son and a bump to his arm set off another panic attack. This time Martin called it in. “I was like this is enough so I called the psych and said what had happened. She arranged for some more treatment sessions.” Martin was treated using very effective psychological techniques. The treatment took Martin back to experiences from his military career rather than his police work. “During an escape and evasion exercise I was running away from German mountain troops. We knew if they caught us we were in a whole world of hurt. My body didn’t know it was an exercise so my brain was in flight mode. I thought it was great fun at the time but I now understand the brain doesn’t know the difference. “You are running away and that is why your body is scared and it has taken this incident and married the two up. “I had three sessions and we boxed off what I needed to and I restarted a return to work program.” Martin was initially on office duties in his bike uniform to provide a sense of familiarity to the incident and gradually worked up to getting back on the road. It was during the final stages of his program that another issue arose. He attended a domestic incident where a man had a pair of scissors at Wellington Square. Martin and his partner arrested the man without incident but it was back at the station that he had another problem. “Couple of hours later, I am sitting in the office and my heart rate hit 176. What is this about?” he said. “I was straight on the phone to the Psychology Unit. My psych wasn’t there so I got to speak to one of the other psychologists straight away and she was so supportive.” Martin’s brain was craving adrenalin. It was explained his fight or flight response had kicked in and because he was not running away and dealing with incidents, his adrenalin had been high for the whole shift. He was now back in the safe office environment however, his brain was saying give me more adrenalin but the body was saying no. The only way the brain could get more adrenalin was to increase his heart rate. Martin was booked in for some more treatment when he came back from a month’s leave however, it was not required. His psychologist took one look at him and noticed a positive change in his wellbeing. “She consolidated my treatment and asked how I felt about the incident.
“I’m like there is no anxiety about it at all. So she has cleared me today, no problem at all, off you go, but come back if you need to.” This wasn’t Martin’s first injury on the job. A police officer of 21 years, including eight years in the UK, he has had his fair share of injuries. In 2008, he engaged with Health, Welfare and Safety Division when he suffered a back injury and now that he can compare the two situations, he is very impressed with the way his latest injury has been handled by the WA Police Force. “At that time, it seemed that Health and Welfare were very much about get back to work as quickly as possible. I seemed to be a number being pressured back to work,” he said reflecting on his previous injury. “If we can’t get him back to work, how do we get rid of him was the feeling I got. The care and welfare didn’t seem to be there then and now there is a complete difference.” Ironically, Martin has been assisted by some of the same divisional staff for both incidents and the difference in the approach amazed him. “Back then was more about what do I need to do to get back to work quickly? This time it has been, don’t worry about it. Let the docs and the med staff dictate everything, there is no rush. It now appears much more person focused instead of agency focused.” Martin believes the decision to have more police officers with frontline experience at Health, Welfare and Safety Division has made all the difference. “You’ve got coppers looking after coppers and though there are some amazing civilians in there, you’ve got a copper overseeing it. “You’ve got people in there that understand the job, who understand the pressures of the job first hand, who understand what it’s like to be out in the warzone in Northbridge on a weekend. They understand the knock on effect to you and how it affects you and the build-up of the incidents over time.”
Martin believes that his experience shows just how the focus has changed and it’s time police officers placed more faith in the services provided by at Health, Welfare and Safety Division. “Health and Welfare are there to help you. I’ve sent a couple of people for their support and both have had a really positive experience out of it. They were in really bad places and didn’t want to go and get help, so I sent them to get help. “Don’t be scared about asking for help because the help is there and Health and Welfare will give it. “Humans aren’t meant to see people splattered over train lines or bodies mangled, it is not a natural thing to see. Psychologically, if you haven’t boxed that off it will build up and up and then something will happen one day and you will snap. I don’t want that to happen to anyone. “If you go and ask for help, the Psychology Unit will not disclose it to anyone unless you let them. They don’t talk to the agency or your bosses unless you give them permission to do so. They won’t discuss the things you’ve spoken about with your bosses, they’re not allowed to and they just won’t do it. “The thing we need to get across to the troops is the age of harden up and move on is long gone. If you or someone else thinks you need help, ask for the help, it is there, it’s available and it’s first class.”
“They won’t discuss the things you’ve spoken about with your bosses, they’re not allowed to and they just won’t do it.”
01 & 02 Martin in hospital having his broken jaw and gash to his chin attended to. 03 Martin is now back at work as a prosecutor. 04 During his return to work program, Martin was able to get back on his bike.
19 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
RE LIF FE T-O RE U NC T E
Disciplinary Flow Chart The Police Act 1892 and Police Force Regulations 1979 give the WA Police Force the power to investigate complaints of unprofessional conduct made against police officers. This legislation is used in conjunction with the Managerial Intervention Model contained in Police Manual Policy HR-31 and will determine what sanctions will be imposed on a police officer if it is determined, on the balance of probabilities, that their behaviour was unprofessional. Police officers who are subject to complaint may be compelled to participate in a managerial interview under the provisions of the regulations. Police officers will be ordered to participate and to report what they know concerning the incident under investigation. WAPU strongly advises all Members to contact us immediately to seek advice if they are given notification to attend any compelled managerial interview or to participate in a criminal interview before responding to the request.
20 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
LOSS OF CONFIDENCE REMOVAL UNDER SECTION 8 POLICE ACT
Review officer appointed – Summary of Investigation
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
21 days to respond
SECTION 33L POLICE ACT Notice of Intention to Remove
Analysis of Response by Ethical Standards
42 days to respond
Decision Loss of confidence
Stand Up • No action • MIM • Section 23
REMOVAL NOTICE – EFFECTIVELY REMOVED 28 Day Maintenance Period (still paid) Resign
Appeal to WAIRC • Limited grounds • Harsh/oppressive/unfair • Lose right to resign
1. Investigation – Internal Affairs Unit, District or Division 2. Interview Request (A) CRIMINAL – Contact WAPU for legal advice.
(B) MANAGERIAL / DISCIPLINARY – Regulation 603 Ordered to attend and answer questions on audio recording.
3. Managerial Investigation outcomes reviewed by IAU or Ethical Standards Division 4. Integrity Review Panel determines managerial sanctions MANAGERIAL INTERVENTION MODEL HR-31 1. Verbal guidance 3. Assistant Commissioner’s Warning Notice 2. Managerial notice 4. Other
SECTION 23 POLICE ACT Disciplinary Charge Sheet and Particulars of Disciplinary Charge Accepts Facts
DEFAULTER PARADE PENALTY • Reprimand • Reduction in salary • Fine not more than • Suspension from duty 3 per cent of base pay • Discharge or dismissal • Demotion
DISCIPLINARY EXAMINATION Decision & penalty if found guilty • Facts indispute are examined. • Penalty options as per Section 23.
Option to lodge appeal to Police Appeal Board (14 days) (Appeals exclude reprimand/reduction in salary)
Option to lodge appeal to Police Appeal Board
HEAR APPEAL (Magistrate, Commissioner's Representative and elected police officer) CONFIRM OR MODIFY OR REVERSE
HEAR APPEAL (Magistrate, Commissioner's Representative and elected police officer) CONFIRM OR MODIFY OR REVERSE
For further information contact the WAPU Field Team on 9321 2155.
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Partner Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers
The realities of restraining orders IN LAW SCHOOL I WAS TAUGHT the theory of the law. It wasn't until I started practice that I really learned the realities of the law. Theory and the reality don't always meet. Often the law has been written by Parliament or developed by the common law with the best of intentions, but the everyday implications of those laws are far more problematic.
To Members in this predicament, I say this: Despite what it feels like, the Court hasn't determined that the allegations against you are true.
As a WAPU lawyer, I am regularly called on to advise Members served with interim restraining orders. Usually these orders have been issued by a magistrate or two justices of the peace in a closed court hearing which was held without notice to the Member, and without a testing of the evidence of the applicant. In theory, the fact that interim orders are issued on untested evidence shouldn't be problematic, because a final hearing of the matter could be quickly brought on in court and the veracity of the complaint determined by a magistrate after hearing from all relevant witnesses. But the reality is that the Magistrates Court lists are such that a quick hearing of the matter is an aspirational dream only. The delay in having a matter come on for a final hearing wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be as problematic as it is if interim res training order s (other than misconduct restraining orders) didn't have terms prohibiting the defendant from possessing a firearm. Those clauses remain in the restraining order until the interim order is cancelled or varied. Unless a cancellation or variation is by consent of the applicant, either option requires a hearing, which usually takes months. It's not uncommon for the following to occur. A Member is served with an interim restraining order which precludes them from possessing a firearm.
They object to the making of a final order, and also make an application to the Magistrates Court to vary the terms of the interim order to amend the firearms clause. Both the objection to the making of final orders, and the application to vary the interim orders, are listed for a mention hearing in the Magistrates Court. By this time, usually a month has gone by. When the application for a variation comes on in Court, the Court must give leave for the application to go to a hearing. Another month goes by. When the application again comes on in Court, it's listed for a mention hearing in a general busy list, often at the same time as the objection to final orders. If the par ties don't agree on proposed orders or don't agree to settle the dispute generally (e.g. by way of the giving of undertakings instead of the need for court orders), the Court needs to list the matter for a trial. When this is likely to be depends on the availability of the parties and the Court to set the matter down for the time needed. Regularly, these matters don't come on for hearing for six months, in addition to the two to three months since the interim orders were served. The long and short of it is that this process can take at least nine months. That's nine months of an interim order based on untested evidence and without a substantive consideration by the Court of the merits of the matter generally.
I don't believe Parliament intended for a police officer to be left unnecessarily without a tool of their trade for at least nine months. In theory, it shouldn't take this long, and the Restraining Orders Act isn't written in a way that it should. But the reality of busy court lists and the steps required to vary or cancel orders means that it does. To the WA Police Force's credit, it is usually sympathetic to Members in this predicament and are accommodating. Members are not usually stood down or stood aside, although not being permitted to possess a firearm means that they can't work operational duties. Being station-bound for an indefinite period is dishear tening and not what Parliament intended, but it's the current reality. To Members in this predicament, I say this: Despite what it feels like, the Court hasn't determined that the allegations against you are true. The low threshold the Court has to apply in interim order hearings is not indicative that the Court will uphold the need for final orders, or grant a variation to an interim or final order to amend the firearms clause, in due course. But the reality of the current process is that it takes a long time for the Court to be able to properly hear the matter. That is frustrating and disheartening and you will get frustrated and disheartened. Your colleagues, WAPU and TGB are here to suppor t you during the process.
23 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
A life of service After more than seven years, the Reverend Canon Joe Newbold has hung up his police hat for the final time and retired from the WA Police Force.
01 Lynette and Joe look forward to life after the police force. 02 The Reverend Canon Joe Newbold was marched off at a recent graduation ceremony.
24 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
After promising himself he would retire before his 70th birthday, Canon Newbold was marched off just three days shy of the milestone. His career with the WA Police Force spanned 2,555 days, over which there were countless late nights, call-outs and after-hours phone calls. Canon Newbold’s desire to serve others was not only evident in his work as a police chaplain or Anglican priest, it emerged very early on in his life. At just 15 years of age, Canon Newbold started his life of service in the Royal Australian Navy, where he would eventually be trained as a clearance diver and medic (specialising in underwater or hyperbaric medicine). It was also the place he met his wife of nearly 50 years; Lynette. The pair married and it was only three days into their honeymoon that Canon Newbold’s chosen life of helping others kicked in.
BY JESSICA ELPHICK
Canon Newbold was awoken by police officers at 2am who urgently requested he assist in the treatment of a boy who had been mauled by a lion. “I was called in to spend three or four days in a recompression chamber with a boy who had been mauled by a lion in Sydney and had got gas gangrene,” Canon Newbold recalled. “The gangrene dies in oxygen, so when you put pressure up to twice the normal atmospheric pressure and introduce pure oxygen, you purge the normal air out of the wound and that cured it,” he explained. “He still lost his arm – but he survived.” Feeling like he had more to do in his life, Canon Newbold and his wife moved across the country to live in Canon Newbold’s home town of Perth. He studied architectural drafting at technical college and started a medical laboratory supply company before the gravity of the church pulled him in. He sensed there was more to life than trying to make money. “Lynette has always been connected to the church and I would always take her, but I decided that maybe it was time to start going. I talked to the Rector of the local church and that worked out well, so I started attending. I started a couple of courses and through there, and another fellow that I knew, we went to test the vocation.”
Canon Newbold enrolled to study Theology at Murdoch University. In addition to his academic studies, Canon Newbold also undertook practical work both in his local parish and Royal Perth Hospital. “I had exposure of people going through trauma when I was a medic, but we only had to be concerned about what was physically going on. But the pastoral education [at Royal Perth Hospital] was a bit more of an eye-opener.” After completing his studies, Canon Newbold was ordained by the Anglican Church. For the next 25 years, Canon Newbold devoted his life to the people of his parish. But it was one day close to Canon Newbold’s first attempt at retirement that an old friend suggested he might like to return to his frontline service roots and join the WA Police Force as its new chaplain. “Michael Mateljan and I studied together but he was retiring. So he said, ‘Do I have a job for you!’ I said no you don’t, but he persisted and so I thought I would have look to see what it was all about,” he said. In 2012, Canon Newbold started the next phase of his service; assisting 6,500 men and women, and their families, with the heartache and difficulties that inevitably come with policing. “I can remember the first one very clearly,” Canon Newbold said as he recalled his first call-out. “There was a young woman who was on a motorbike. A truck came out of a gate in Welshpool and she was jammed up against the truck,” he said. “Then, the next one. It was very close by; a 12-year-old boy who ran in front of a cement truck. He ran across the road, his thong had come off so he ran back to get it and then the truck came and he went under the truck.” In what could only be called a baptism of fire, these two incidents were followed up by a monumental 36-hour period. Canon Newbold left Perth at 5am to bless the new Derby Police Station. Upon returning to Perth that evening, he realised he had left his computer on the police airplane. He retrieved it from the airport at about midnight. But just as he returned home and slipped into bed, the phone rang. “I got a phone call from one of the traffic guys who said we had a fatal crash out in Morley and it seems like the front seat passenger was beheaded so would you come out,” Canon Newbold said. “So I went out and got there about 2am. It turned out he wasn’t beheaded but we found out that the rear seat passenger was a copper’s brother but nobody knew that at the time until we started looking at IDs. So that was a real initiation into serious care for police families.” Canon Newbold stayed at the scene until it was time to attend the victims’ homes and notify the families. Then it was onto the morgue.
“… but we found out that the rear seat passenger was a copper’s brother but nobody knew that at the time until we started looking at IDs. So that was a real initiation into serious care for police families.”
“I met the copper’s family at the morgue, then just as I was leaving, another family came to do the identification, and they asked me to stay for that. Then the last family came. So I did the three IDs and got home about 3pm that afternoon. So that was about 36 hours. That was the first really big one.” Over the course of seven years, there have been many incidents in which Canon Newbold and the other chaplains have stepped in. One recent example was the mass murder of three young children, their mother and grandmother in their Bedford home. “That was pretty awful,” Canon Newbold recalled. “Fortunately, I didn’t have to go into the house. But the idea that I was standing 30 or 40 metres away was a bit…,” he trailed off. Canon Newbold said the chaplains and psychologists had very different roles at critical or traumatic incidents. “Our role is to really help people to go home for the night,” he said. “We just give them the opportunity to unload in a way that is not formal so they aren’t carrying things with them.” Reflecting on his time, Canon Newbold said it was an honour to stand beside the brave men and women who do the difficult tasks that no one else in society would do. “It was a privilege just to be able to be beside those coppers who were doing such a good and difficult job. We did what we could so that they can do their job and be okay.” Canon Newbold said he wasn’t sure what the future had in store for him, but that he would still remain in contact with police officers through the Retired Police Officers’ Association. But knowing how much of his life he has devoted to others, Canon Newbold will surely be found wherever he is needed in the future. 25 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
Mounting the T
he selection course for Mounted Section has been described as brutal, excruciating and for one new addition, it saw her shoe ripped open and her foot trampled on. But despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges of the five-day selection course, two of the Section’s newest additions wouldn’t have it any other way. The selection course takes applicants through their paces to see just how much they are willing to sacrifice and push themselves to gain a spot in the “best job in WA Police”. Acting Sergeant Zach Barry, who was on the selection course panel, said until now, it was also the best kept secret. “It is a bit of a best kept secret in the job, because we only get about 20 applicants every year for our selection course, whereas canine get 70 to 80-odd,” he said. Of those applicants, only about half make the cut to attend the five-day intensive course in Gidgegannup. First Class Constable Georgia Gibson was one of those officers who would be tested to see if she had what it takes to be a mounted police officer. Georgia’s passion for policing came at the young age of six when her grandparents took her to watch the Anzac Day
26 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
parade. Georgia happily watched the marching servicemen and women proudly wave and walk past. But it was the sight of the four-legged majestic beauties that captured Georgia’s gaze. The sound of their hooves on the bitumen, the jingle of their bridle and the seemingly giant rider on top of the horse was enough to inspire her to become a police officer in the mounted section. Nearly 17 years later, Georgia’s dream was becoming a reality after being accepted into the Police Academy to start her career. “Usually you change your idea about what you want to do when you grow up through school, but for some reason it was just in my head the whole way,” she said. Georgia was so passionate about realising her dream to be that police officer on a horse, that failing to be selected twice for Mounted Section was not enough to dampen her spirit. She continued to gain more experience on the frontline, putting her hand up to volunteer in locations that would expose her to the types of work mounted officers would do. Georgia opted to police the Roe 8 protests and attend out of control gatherings just so she could work with the horses in an operational environment.
challenge “He stepped on the front of my nail and so the back of my nail popped out of the nail bed and ripped. My jogger was torn in half, there was just the sole and the front.”
BY JESSICA ELPHICK
But it seemed the third time could be the charm for the 28-year-old who was granted another opportunity to get back on the horse. This time, Georgia would not fail. “I had a little bit of riding experience,” she told Police News. “I took lessons in the lead up to the course, I part-leased a horse just to get hours in the saddle and to experience what it was like to ride different horses.” When the time came to start the selection course, Georgia felt more confident. But it was an incident on day two that really pushed Georgia to her limits. Part of the course tests out riders’ fitness levels, determination and how they can handle the horse in a dynamic environment. During a personal training session, Georgia and the other applicants were asked to run alongside their allocated horses in single file, with each rider being called to break away from the line and rotate to the front. The officers are not told how long they will be running for or the length of the course. Plus, they need to position themselves in a way to keep the horse trotting straight, without the animal stumbling into of the rider.
“If I was just running normally, I would have stopped, I was so puffed,” Georgia said. But there was no way she was going to stop and potentially be cut from the course. When Georgia was called to rotate to the front on the line, she pushed out, keeping her elbow high to guide her horse, Marv, to the front. “I don’t quite remember how it happened, all I remember was pain,” she said. Marv, and all of his 600kg, stomped on Georgia’s foot during the run. “He stepped on the front of my nail and so the back of my nail popped out of the nail bed and ripped. My jogger was torn in half, there was just the sole and the front,” she said. Little did Georgia know, she would have to continue to run for another three laps. “I just kept going. You don’t stop! There was no way I was being cut from the course. I didn’t want to give up,” she said. Georgia said she wanted course selectors to see just how committed she was and how hard she would push herself to reach her goal. ▷ 27 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
01 Officers from Regional Operations Group worked with Mounted Section during Public Order Response Training. 02 Acting Sergeant Zach Barry helped select the new recruits. 03–05 Mounted Section during training at Maylands Police Complex.
28 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
“They need to see how much you want it,” Georgia said. “As hard as the course, is and as much as it can break you down, you realise why it has to be like that. “The last couple of mornings when it’s been three degrees, and freezing, you still have to get the horses out, muck out their stable, etc. People don’t realise how physically draining it is. And not just with the horses; the saddles are huge, you need to tack the horses up [dress it for riding], clean their feet. You realise the course is tough because if you didn’t really want to be here, the day-to-day stuff would really weigh you down,” she said. Determination and tenacity are qualities which Georgia shares with her colleague, and new Mounted Section member, First Class Constable Matt Silvester. Although Matt did not grow up with a desire to work with horses, or have any real experience as a rider, he did come to Mounted from another saddle. Matt was part of the Fremantle Bike Team when he saw the EOI for Mounted. Having just come back from a family holiday to the UK, the call-out coincided with some terrible news. Matt found out his father Dennis was diagnosed with terminal stage four cancer that very day. “I was sat at work and my mind was all over the place because of dad and when I read the broadcast, I read at the bottom that applicants don’t need any basic prior experience and I just thought this was the perfect time,” he said. The timing reminded Matt to make every day count and to be open to new and challenging experiences. “My dad’s done a lot in his life, but I don’t want to get to that age and look back and think I could have done other things. I thought just because I can’t do it now, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t give it a crack. So I gave it a crack,” he said. Matt’s background before joining the WA Police Force was in emergency services at mine sites. He rose through the ranks to become a supervisor but at the age of 29, he wanted to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer. He used examples of his ability to adapt and train others as part of his EOI, but two days before his interview, Matt’s father succumbed to his terminal illness.
“I was going to pull the pin then,” he said. “But he loved that I applied for it. He obviously didn’t get to see that I made it to where I am now, but he said prior to passing away that he was proud of everything that I had done. “He really was the driving force of why I applied. I thought life was too short to not give it a go.” There was also one further, minute set back that Matt would have to overcome before he could start the selection course; his fear of horses! “I was quite nervous on day one. You put an 800kg horse in front of me telling me I’ve got to groom it and tack it up, I didn’t even know what those words meant, but I was quite nervous,” Matt said. “I had an hour drive from Fremantle to Brigadoon every day and on most days I thought I could probably turn around now and go back to Freo and that would be it. No one would think differently of me. But once I got there and got through the day, I loved it.” Matt said the strength he garnered from his dad and family also made him push through, even though every muscle in his body was aching from riding and falling off the horses. “I just took it day by day. The first day I couldn’t walk when I got home and my wife found it hilarious,” he said. “But I always had a story and a smile on my face. “By day one I learnt how to trot and canter, day three we were doing jumps and playing horse basketball, and day four we were doing a cross country course over 70cm jumps at a canter and over banks.” Matt said somehow by day five, he managed to make it through out of a field of 12. After being in the pool for seven months, Matt was transferred to Mounted Section in May. Matt has come a long way from being a complete novice rider to being a competent mounted police officer, according to his trainers. Along with Georgia and Matt, the team was also boosted by some four-legged members. The WA Police Force welcomed five new additions to the team; Ink, Gordon, Loki, Frankie and Arnold. These horses were brought over from Victoria to bolster the Mounted Section’s capabilities and were hand selected because of their size, temperament and breed.
“The horses that we pick were traditionally used for agriculture or war, so they’re used to working long hours. But we also carry all our accoutrements, our saddles and our saddle bags for six and a half hours every day for approximately four days a week, so those horses have to be able to sustain that level of endurance,” Zach said. The new additions will also have to become accustomed to a policing environment, just like their long-serving colleagues such as Zulu, Destiny, Mance and Bluey. “We do lots of desensitisation with them. Their first port of call is either fight or flight. “In a herd, they don’t need to run very fast, they just have to run faster than their mate. So with us here, we have to introduce all those hazards they will see in the real world slowly, so they can get used to it. We have to show them things like plastic bags, flags, shopping trolleys, skateboards, push bikes and umbrellas,” Zach said. Training also extends to more dynamic and potentially volatile situations such as out of control parties, riots and protests. But before the new horses undertake Public Order Response Training (PORT) with the Regional Operations Group, they are introduced to fire, smoke and loud noises in a safe and controlled environment. Recently, the more seasoned police horses and new riders were involved in PORT at Maylands Police Complex. The two units rehearsed different drills using protective equipment, which was a first for the new riders. “Riding a police horse under duress in a stressful environment is completely different to walking the beat, or being in a bike or car,” Zach said. “You have an animal with its own brain that you need to control as well as yourself, so we need to be able to see coppers who have that resilience and tenacity and also that they have that composure to hold themselves together when the chips are down,” he said. While there are definitely tough and tr ying times ahead for all of Mounted Section’s new recruits, both Georgia and Matt are enjoying their new view of policing between two ears.
“You have an animal with its own brain that you need to control as well as yourself …”
29 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
KATRINA MASON Industrial Officer
Industrial support for Members with illness or injury WHILE MEMBERS REGULARLY SEEK INDUSTRIAL ADVICE FROM OUR INDUSTRIAL TEAM on topics such as rostering, leave and allowances, did you know the Team also provides advice on medical issues? The Industrial Team routinely advises serving and retired Members how they can make the most of their entitlements under all applicable legislation.
As always, it is important that you claim your entitlement to reimbursement for eligible work and non-work related medical and pharmaceutical claims. While it is often not considered important at the time of the injury or illness, it is essential that all work-related injuries or illness are reported correctly as this may have implications on your entitlement to claim medical expenses post service. Our Industrial Team often assist with claim lodgement, approval and where necessary, assist with any disputes or delays in reimbursement.
Some Members are unable to return to full duties or operational status following an illness or injury. As part of your return to work plan you may be required to complete assessments from your preferred and or WA Police Force appointed medical practitioners. You may need assistance from our Industrial Team if your treating medical practitioner has removed any operational restrictions but the WA Police Force has not approved your return to full duties or operational status. Our Industrial Team has assisted Members with this process, and in some cases, have successfully lobbied for Members deemed permanently non-operational in regaining operational status.
ACCESS TO SICK LEAVE WHEN ILL OR INJURED
FITNESS FOR ACTIVE SERVICE ASSESSMENTS
Our Industrial Team are able to assist if you are ill or injured, ensuring that you receive your full entitlement to sick leave, including cancelling any approved leave or leave type conversions. Members may also be unware of the restrictions on medical certificates included in HR-07.04 Illness Management. Under this policy medical certificates are restricted to 14 days for normal medical practitioners and dentists, and 28 days for specialist medical practitioners.
If the WA Police Force is concerned that an illness or injury may prevent you from fulfilling your duties, or if you have utilised a large amount of sick leave, you may be required to participate in a Fitness for Active Service Assessment. These Assessments are the first step in the Medical Retirement process and we recommend that any Member asked to participate in this assessment contact our Industrial Team for support through this process.
RETURN TO WORK PLANS
As a result from either a work or non-work related illness or injury, you may be placed on a return to work plan with restricted duties. It is important that you disclose any restrictions caused by illness or injury with your OIC. This should also be detailed in a letter or report from your treating medical practitioner. Our Industrial Team can assist with negotiating a safe job, restricted duties and how to transition from temporary non-operational status back to operational status or duties.
The Police Amendment (Medical Retirement) Bill 2019 was recently assented. This legislation amends the Police Act 1982 whereby a Member may be medically retired from the WA Police Force using the new Section 33Z. Our Members continue to be referred to the Medical Board for medical retirement consideration. It is imperative that Members referred to the Medical Board contact our Industrial Team for assistance with this process.
WORK AND NON-WORK RELATED MEDICAL CLAIMS
While it is often not considered important at the time of the injury or illness, it is essential that all work-related injuries or illness are reported correctly as this may have implications on your entitlement to claim medical expenses post service.
30 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
OPERATIONAL STATUS DISPUTES
POST SERVICE MEDICAL BENEFITS A large number of our Members are not aware of their entitlement to claim work-related medical expenses after separation. Under the Police (Medical and Other Expenses for Former Officers) Act 2008, former officers may claim medical treatment, pharmaceuticals, support services and when reasonable, travel and accommodation expenses for work-related illness or injury. The Police (Medical and Other Expenses for Former Officers) Act 2008 references limited sections of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, meaning that claim limits and time periods apply to post service medical claims. Post service medical claims are submitted to Health, Welfare and Safety, however once approved, RiskCover administer the claims. Our Industrial Team assist our former Members with application, approval and claims management.
A large number of our Members are not aware of their entitlement to claim work-related medical expenses after separation.
ACCESSING A MEMBERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S WA POLICE FORCE EMPLOYEE MEDICAL FILE POST SEPARATION Our former Members are often required to provide evidence of their injury and or medical reports to RiskCover and GESB Superannuation, however many do not have access to this information. The Industrial Team can assist with access to your Health, Welfare and Safety employee medical file.
REDRESS SCHEME Our Industrial Team has assisted a number of our former Members in the lodgement of their redress scheme applications. We continue to make regular contact with these former Members with updates on the progress of the scheme. We advise that, at the time of writing this article, the redress scheme review panel has not finalised their review of applicants. We ask that any former Members concerned about the progress of their claim, or the result of their redress scheme application, please contact our Industrial Team for support.
PROPOSED REUNION OF
Police School 2/1974 Roy Gascoigne is organising a reunion of Police School 2/1974. The reunion of members of the Police School is in order that they can catch up and renew friendships. Below is a suggested venue and date. DATE: Wednesday 23 October 2019 VENUE: Kardinya Tavern, 17 South Street, Kardinya TIME: 12pm to 2.30pm DRESS: Smart Casual
COSTS: $20 Seniors Special lunch which includes an extensive salad bar, a beer, wine or a soft drink, payment by the member at the time.
The management of the Kardinya Tavern requested that they be advised as to the number of attendees by 9 October 2019 to ensure adequate staff and set up a function room. Please advise Roy Gascoigne of your intention to attend this reunion via email firstname.lastname@example.org. 31 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
The hidden costs of retirement RETIRING FROM THE FORCE signals a significant lifestyle change – one that demands preparation if you’re to protect your health and your pocket.
But again, I just knew that I didn't have to worry about taking from my family to ensure that those things were paid for. It was an incredible, comforting feeling to be part of Police Health.
After years of operating in a hypervigilant state, retiring police must face the realities of aging, loss of identity and loss of comradery before they’re able to really enjoy the luxuries of retirement – time, freedom, no alarm clock… While the reduced stress of not working can be beneficial initially, studies have shown that over time the chances of suffering clinical depression increase by about 40 per cent and having at least one diagnosed physical illness increases by 60 per cent¹. • Three in five Australians aged over 65 years have two or more chronic conditions² such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorder and type two diabetes which can seriously impact your ability to remain active and enjoy retirement. • And by the age of 85, one in two Australians will have been diagnosed with cancer.³ While we can’t control which mix of health issues will invariably greet us as we get older – we can prepare for them by taking the time to research and select the right health insurance.
WHY HOLD PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE IN RETIREMENT? Once you’re living of f your superannuation nest egg, it’ll become more important than ever to be on top of your finances – and that includes budgeting for medical expenses. The problem is, it’s impossible to predict what health issues and costs you may incur in the future – and that’s where private health insurance comes in.
32 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
By paying regular ‘known’ premium contributions, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’re insured against the unexpected. What’s more, private patients are able to skip public hospital waiting lists and access treatment sooner, especially when it comes to elective surgery, so you can get on with living that happy healthy retirement you’ve always wanted.
HOW DO I SELECT THE RIGHT COVER FOR MY NEEDS WHEN NEARING RETIREMENT? As we get older, our health insurance claims are likely to become more varied and frequent– so it’s best to seek out comprehensive cover. It’s also important to look beyond the price (initially) and focus on the benefits. Value for money will be more important to you than the cost of premium payments alone because you intend to claim on your cover – not just use it to avoid tax implications.
TIPS ON SELECTING HOSPITAL COVER 1. Gold vs Silver Plus? You may think yourself clever to seek out cover that excludes pregnancy – but buyer beware! It’s rarely just pregnancy cover you’re forgoing by choosing a cover with exclusions, and even more deceptively, the variation in price between some ‘Silver Plus’ vs ‘Gold’ policies is negligible – so many find they’re actually better off sticking to an allinclusive ‘Gold’ level of cover.
2. Excess payments Adding an excess to reduce your premiums can be a similar price trap. Given the increased likelihood you’ll actually use your cover in your later years, paying an excess on one, or in some instances every, occasion you go to hospital (day surgery included) can end up being significantly more expensive in the long run than opting for cover without an excess. 3. Ambulance cover And finally, make sure your policy includes a decent Ambulance cover – or else you’ll need to seek out a quote for that separately and tally on the cost to your overall insurance budget.
TIPS ON SELECTING EXTRAS COVER Extras cover will become important for preventative health, rehab, and general wellbeing in your retirement. As you age you’ll find your body just isn’t what it used to be – and will require more attention than ever before. You’ll likely become well acquainted with optometrists, dentists, physios, podiatrists, dietitians and even counselors or psychologists as you adjust to life in retirement – so make sure you again look for ‘value for money’ in your extras cover. Find a policy that pays generous benefits back on claims across a broad range of services – both in terms of ‘benefits per service’ and ‘annual maximums’. You’ll also want the freedom to choose your own provider, as you may need to find an allied health professional that specialises in care for the elderly or for a particular condition.
WHERE DO I START? As a WAPU Member, a good place to start would be to investigate Police Health â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a not-for-profit private health fund run by police for police. Police Health has been operating for over 80 years and have an excellent reputation.
CAN RETIRED POLICE JOIN POLICE HEALTH? Police Healthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eligibility extends to former police and employees of police services or associations in Australia who resigned or retired after 1 January 2001.
Retired officer and Police Health member, Peter Graham (right), sings the praises of Police Health any chance he gets. "I had a pacemaker inserted. When you walk out of St Andrews Hospital after having that done and you just sign on the dotted line because you're in Police Health is very, very comforting. On top of that, more recently, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which is being well treated. But again, I just knew that I didn't have to worry about taking from my family to ensure that those things were paid for. It was an incredible, comforting feeling to be part of Police Health."
Article References: (1) B ritish study by the Institute of Economic Affairs and Age Endeavour Fellowship (2) https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/chronic-disease (3) https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/facts-and-figures.html
10% discount on presentation of your WAPU membership card
Eligible in Oakley Retail stores in Australia and New Zealand. Excludes online purchases. Discount offer is 10% off full-price products excluding Gift Cards, Custom and Prescription eyewear. This discount offer is not transferable and is available on presentation of WA Police Union member card. Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or benefit. POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
FITNESS PASSPORT AT A GLANCE •
Established in 2006, Fitness Passport gives employers the chance to oﬀer their employees aﬀordable ﬁtness memberships with no ﬁnancial outlay by the employer.
Eligible employees and their families can access a wide, self-elected range of gyms, pools and leisure centres, as often as they like and all with one card per family member.
Our goal is to encourage people to get into better shape by removing the two main barriers to exercise – cost and convenience.
Fitness Passport is a win for everyone. You’ll save money and improve your health whilst your organisation will have happier, more productive staﬀ and local ﬁtness suppliers enjoy more customers.
Some of our employer partners:
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT US ﬁtnesspassport.com.au info@ﬁtnesspassport.com.au
10% discount on presentation of your WAPU membership card
Eligible in Sunglass Hut in Australia and New Zealand. Excludes online purchases. Discount offer is 10% off full-price products excluding Chanel, Maui Jim, Oliver Peoples and Gift Cards. This discount offer is not transferable and is available on presentation of WA Police Union member card. Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or benefit.
* WAPU SCHOOL HOLIDAY BALLOT APPLICATION APPLICATIONS WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED ON THIS FORM, It can be emailed or posted to the Union office. Complete and return by Friday, 11 October 2019 to: WA Police Union 639 Murray Street, West Perth WA 6005 Email: email@example.com
Only mark the holiday periods and locations you are prepared to accept in numerical order of preference. Note: Bookings are available from Saturday (2pm) to Saturday (10am) only.
WEEK 1 04.07.20 – 11.07.20
Results to be advised by Friday, 18 October 2019 Name (Please Print):
BUSSELTON VILLA 4
WEEK 2 11.07.20 – 18.07.20
BUSSELTON VILLA 11 Post Code:
BUSSELTON VILLA 15 ESPERANCE EXMOUTH
Email (Home): Phone no. (Work): (Mobile):
PORT DENISON YALLINGUP
POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
WHITE SQUAD JOINS THE RANKS Nicknamed the “Zimmerframe Squad”, White Squad 1/2019 joined the ranks of the WA Police Force in July. Nineteen new Members with an average age of 34, completed the tough 28-week training course at the Police Academy, and are now ready to work on the frontline. WAPU hosted the graduates prior to the ceremony as part of a partnership with Maxxia which sees new recruits visit WAPU HQ to learn more about what the Union offers to Members. The graduation also acknowledged the service of former Police Chaplain Joe Newbold, who retired recently after more than seven years’ service.
36 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
RETIREMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
RETIRING MEMBERS 5950 Steven HARRISON 9716 Alan GOODGER
99978 Linda KOMARA
SERVING 15009 First Class Constable JODIE ELIZABETH BAMBRIDGE Aged 40
RETIRED cont. 2939 Commander THOMAS JOHN CARLSON Aged 83
RETIRED 2043 Commissioner JOHN HENRY PORTER Aged 97
4756 First Class Sergeant MICHAEL BRUCE TINGLEY Aged 69
RESIGNING MEMBERS 6912 Stuart BARTELS 8213 Dale ROBERTSON 10164 Barbara CRANE 10483 Nicholas COOMBS 11005 Normie GIOCAS 11023 Ryan FONG 11191 Jarred GERACE 11636 Peter MURPHY 11978 Jodi STANDISH 13612 Natalie HESP 13686 Damian EYNON-WILLIAMS 13712 Matthew PADROTTA 13820 Sam COLLINS 14090 David DODSON 14229 Edward CUTHBERT 14388 Nicholas KILMINSTER 14390 Douglas WALKER
14984 Owen LYONS 15030 Joanne DEAN 15127 Claire CHEADLE 15226 Matthew McBRIDE 15366 Adrian RAATH 16128 Curtis SIMON-MENASSE 16246 Simon WILLIAMS 16556 Georgia HADLOW 16573 Rohan PASCO 16627 Mitchell KENNEDY 50852 Melissa FREDRIC 51324 Jason DOUGHTY 99408 Joginder SINGH 99969 Neil BLUNT 99983 Bhupender SINGH
2404 Superintendent LESLIE FRANK BOWERS Aged 90
5073 Sergeant KENNETH ERNEST MATTHEWS Aged 69
2872 Third Class Sergeant ROBERT CARSON TERMS Aged 88
2920 Superintendent COLLIN JOHN MITCHELL Aged 86
3600 Inspector JOHN LESLIE INGHAM Aged 77
4460 Sergeant MURRAY JOHN SHADGETT Aged 69
2666 Chief Superintendent RONALD GEORGE KJELLGREN Aged 87
3014 Superintendent RONALD ERNEST DALTON Aged 83
EMERGENCY 24/7 DIRECTOR 0438 080 930
639 Murray Street, West Perth WA 6005 PH: (08) 9321 2155 F: (08) 9321 2177
POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
Dean loves his new car and his free holiday! AT FLEET NETWORK OUR customers are our number one priority. So, we like to thank them for their business whenever we can. To celebrate the end of another financial year, we ran a competition for our customers. Everyone who arranged a novated lease with Fleet Network during June went in the draw to win a $1,500 holiday to blissful Bali!
Fleet Network also got me a great trade-in price on my Triton … When my Raptor was ready, I drove into their Osborne Park office with my old car and drove out in my new one, easy.
38 POLICE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2019
Our lucky winner was one very happy WA police officer, Dean Kelland! Dean is a general duties police officer and has purchased his last two cars through Fleet Network. It was great to see one of our loyal customers take home this fantastic prize. Dean originally contacted Fleet Network in 2014 after seeing an ad in Police News. From here he contacted Fleet Network and arranged to salary package a new Mitsubishi Triton ute. Almost five years down the track, he read about the EOFY competition and thought it would be a good time to look at upgrading to a new car. “I contacted Fleet Network asking what would be involved in a new lease. They were extremely helpful and the effort I put in was minimal. Once I knew I wanted a new Ford Raptor dual cab the rest was easy. My consultant and I just communicated via email and text message, I signed the paperwork and emailed it all back. It was a really fast process,” Dean said. “The best part of a novated lease is how all the running costs are bundled up into your repayments. Fuel, tyres, servicing, rego, insurance and finance are all included so there are no budgeting issues. “Fleet Network also got me a great trade-in price on my Triton. I sent them photos of the car and they gave me a price over the phone. When my Raptor was ready, I drove into their Osborne Park office with my old car and drove out in my new one, easy.”
Dean also commented on how quick and professional the service is at Fleet Network. As part of our ethos, we believe it’s impor tant to provide personalised service to all our customers. We reply quickly to all questions, we always pick up the phone when our customers call and you never have to wait in a call centre queue.
Dean has decided to take-up a travel voucher as his prize and he’s planning on putting it towards a family holiday to Darwin, or possibly America. Have a great trip Dean! If you are interested in learning more about novated leasing, the team at Fleet Network have extensive experience in procuring and salary packaging vehicles across Australia.
Speak to one of Fleet Network’s expert consultants for an obligation-free quote today. Let us show you how to best use your pre-tax salary and save thousands on your next new car. It’s one of the benefits of being a WAPU Member. Make the call to Fleet Network on 1300 738 601 or visit www.fleetnetwork.com.au.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
JUNE AND AUGUST 2005 POLICEMAN’S SON DESIGNS NEW NATIONAL MEMORIAL The son of a Brisbane police officer, architect Liam Proberts was the team leader of the successful design for the National Police Memorial. He said his aim was to make visitors to the memorial realise that police were real people and that some of them gave their lives in the line of duty. “It is really making that connection and that awareness that the memorial design is all about,” he said.
COUNTRY HOUSING Back in June 2005, the Union joined the Board of the Government Employees’ Housing Authority (GEHA) on a tour of the Pilbara to gain a firsthand appreciation of housing quality. The tour party heard about property shortages, new properties as well as stories from Members about the need to prioritise housing in remote and hard to fill locations. One of the outcomes of the trip was the need to establish clear lines of communication for tenants from all agencies regardless of their status, location and how the house was held.
The August edition of Police News featured an article about the Union’s field trip to the Kimberley. The trip visited Members in Balgo, Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Hall Creek, Kalumburu, Kununurra, Warmun and Wyndham. One of the major issues was the Fitzroy Crossing Police Station being dropped from the high priority category for replacement. Members at the station were frustrated to hear that plans for a new station at been abandoned by the “powers that be”.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE The Union held its 69th Annual Conference in June 2005, which focused on the welfare of police officers. Welfare issued which were discussed included: sick leave and medical entitlements; rehabilitation; provision of safe work places; and the availability of satisfactory superannuation.
of the policing community already insure with Police Health
Here’s why In WA, across 21 popular Extra services listed on the government’s standard information statement, and including dentistry, optometry, physio and psychology…*
We pay out an average 38% more* than HBF Top Extras and we’re 4% cheaper* We pay out an average 31% more* than BUPA Top Extras 90 and we’re 19% cheaper*
*Clarification We’ve calculated these illustrative averages for Western Australia based on a family policy, with no Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance or Lifetime Health Cover Loading. The calculations are based on a limited selection of services, so comparisons may vary with other funds, other items and preferred provider arrangements, but, overall, we believe that they support our mission to provide Cover Like No Other. If you want to compare the specific benefits or premiums for Police Health or other funds the government’s Information Statements, these can be found at www.privatehealth.gov.au/ | Current at 1 April 2019
1800 603 603
Police Health Limited. ABN 86 135 221 519 A registered, not for profit, restricted access private health insurer.