1st of December 2017
The opening question asked by radio host Neil Mitchell when interviewing Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin in response to his exposure as a serial troll by the CAA was, “Are you guilty?”.
Guerin’s response was, “Yes.”
Guerin’s trolling was not restricted to the CAA but had been occurring for a number of years under the alter ego of Guerin, Vernon Demerest.
With that announcement the future career of Guerin was sealed it would be untenable for him to command again and remain part of the Victoria Police executive.
His interview with Mitchell descended into a series of justifications liberally sprinkled with pleas that he was not trying to excuse his behaviour. Apologising to his family was fine. He ought to have thought to apologise to his victims and withdraw the disparaging remarks he made.
The only reason that Guerin was pleading his case is that he had been caught out and was making a ham-fisted attempt to minimise his culpability. Being stood down by the Chief Commissioner is not a ringing endorsement for this strategy.
It is a sad indictment on Police Command that one of their brethren just, doesn’t get it. The community has a reasonable expectation, as do rank and file members of the Police force, that the Commissioners voluntarily hold themselves to a higher standard. A philosophy that Guerin did not ascribe to, as was evident in his interview playing down the seriousness of his misbehaviour.
We question whether other senior police in the close knit senior ranks were aware of his trolling as it had been going on for years.
Those, if any, who knew but took no action are also culpable and it will only be a matter of time before exposure. Self- reporting may be their best option.
Like in all these things it has opened Pandora’s Box. People with allegations of misconduct in relation to the Police Executive and some senior Officers may be emboldened to come forward.
Repercussions of Guerin’s activity and ‘Guilty Plea’, will reverberate through the upper echelons of Victoria Police for some time to come yet.
The CAA is proud to have provided this service to Victoria by revealing this matter.
To all of our supporters including many serving and former police who have encouraged and congratulated the CAA on its work, thank you.
Ivan W Ray
Community Advocacy Alliance.