Reading the 2011 New South Wales Police Injury Management Review is a bit like going to a sorority dinner with more rah rah rah than a troop of cheerleaders. According to this report there’s naught wrong with the “excellent” NSW Force’s treatment of injured officers, further the individuals responsible (Commanding Officers) are second to Jesus in “excellence”. They don’t mention their ability to walk on water as far as I know, but in fairness I got a tad cross eyed so it could well be in there.
In the centre of all this profusely fabulous ass cheek kissing report is this: “work needs to be done to address the mechanistic and adversarial approach by many to injury management”. Further, slipped in there is this: “The New South Wales Police Force needs a paradigm shift away from a mechanistic and adversarial approach, to one of supportive and collaborative leadership, underpinned through the development of strong emotional intelligence, which is especially relevant when dealing with psychological injuries.”
Stop right there.
This was produced in 2011 and since that time life for injured NSW Officers has gone from pretty terrible to suicide watch. Here are some examples of what is going on in NSW Police.
“He told me that every time he walked past him, he (Insp Lonergan) flicked him in the nuts,” Mr Kirk said.
Say what again?
Oh it gets better.
A favourite amongst senior NSW Police seems to be what I’ve come to call “Australian Police Roulette”. Senior Officer pulls out loaded gun and puts it to junior officers temple. I’m not kidding.
“Gun to head also happened to me by my then boyfriend. He was hwp and weapons instructor. He was working, came to my house after a disagreement we had previously. Grabbed me around the throat, put his glock to my forehead and told me he had enough.
Obviously he didn’t pull the trigger. I reported it to our commander as worked out of same LAC they ended up transferring both of us. When asked where is the victim care, was told my friends could do the warm fuzzy stuff. When i was medically discharged 5 years ago, the police tried to deny this ever happened, no written record. Lucky for me it was recorded at the time with police psychologist.
I don’t wish for my name to be printed. I’ve struggled the past 8 years to get to the point I’m at now.”
This is no isolated incident! I had to stop reading all the other reports of exactly this, one officer posted that he thought it might be part of Senior Officer Training at NSW Police College.
The litany of abuse, injustices, bullying, downright criminal never mind discreditable behaviour is shocking.
“At a certain LAC in the NSWPF, a problem developed with a particular Sgt who was treating the small team of staff they worked with atrociously which included bullying, harassment & other matters. The relevant commissioned officer responsible for supervising that Sgt took no action despite Internal Compliants by affected staff. Prior to me transferring to that area, 1 officer was medically put out of the NSWPF due to PTSD directly related to the Sgt, 2 other officers duty types changed so they did not have to work with the Sgt, & 1 other struggling to stay at work. Within 5 months of my working in that area, I was off with complex PTSD because of a number of factors but the same issues with the Sgt where the foremost reason for me. Within 6-7 months of my going off, the last 2 staff working with that Sgt also went off with PTSD & issues because of the Sgt.” Nothing was done to protect these officers or future coppers unfortunate enough to land under his command.
So where is the Police Association in all this? I love Mike McCormack (I mean who doesn’t love a pretty face like that?) but for a while I threw eggs at him because I didn’t know what TPA did for their members. I didn’t know because TPA never tells anybody, but if you dig hard enough you can find out. They send their Stewards on MH conferences, their Stewards are by the bedside of any officer who is suffering, they step in front of any trains coming at members, they fight tooth and nail (but quietly) for their members. Even confident Commanders go very quiet and wary when a TPA Steward steps into their office. YRP Association is one of the strongest and richest in Canada, they can take the fight right up YRP’s gentle and kind Chief’s left nostril, and they do when needed for their members. So why are the NSW Police Association allowing such abuses of their members to continue?
“Sad thing with the Police Association of NSW is that the Commissioned are members as well…meaning in any serious incident between a rank and file member and a C.O then the Association is paralysed into no firm action against any C.O because of their “status” and a massive conflict of interest in having to serve 2 “masters “. As I understand the Vic Police Assoc. does not have this problem.”
Is this only a NSW Police problem as stated above? Good grief no. Australia in its entirety is killing and abusing coppers not just on the streets but in HQ.
“Sounds very much like my experience in Vic Pol. I had an accepted W/C claim for Bullying against a well known offender of a higher rank than me. Numerous others had complained about him, some had transferred, some quit. Big $ spent on investigations Etc. They removed him for 12mths only then back to his position as our boss. I was eventually retired. Others after me transferred. The then CCP said it was a personality clash. ( all 13 or more ? ) I was the victim and I payed the price. Keep on fighting the Bastards. Only difference is the Border!”
Not all cops in Australia have simply walked off into the bush and ended things as directed by their Commanding Officers who it would appear prefer a body bag to giving their fellow officers a helping hand; Berrick Boland fought back, starting a FaceBook Group called the Forgotten 300. What happened to it?
“Bastards, took away The Forgotten 300 page, the only memorial to our father.”
Finally I am going to leave it to an injured officer to summarize:
The “Forgotton 300” was another example of such an opportunity; A forum with international reach. I do not believe there is sufficient grounds to shut down a site with nearly 60,000 members. The Police Media Unit has set a concerning and fascist precedent. Ironically, I believe the actions of The NSW Police Media Unit, will ultimately raise greater awareness of the unsatisfactory way the NSW Government disposes of expired human resources.
This is important enough to be a National Issue. A publicly discussed and free parliamentary inquiry. I myself have several examples of cowardice by Commissioned Officers. At the top of my list is my Commander. I have never felt as much repulsion as hearing him say, “If you can’t hack it on the street anymore Chris, I can find you a nice desk job in Intelligence. If you choose to discharge, I can assure you it will be long, difficult and humiliating.”
Why is Australia killing her coppers?