17th March 2020

As most with an interest in Policing and Law and order are aware, the position has now been advertised, and the advert is worth reading.


The CAA congratulates the Government on this advertisement and hope that the ultimate appointment reflects these values.

About the only matter that should have had a higher priority is Integrity, but it is reasonable to presume that integrity should be a given.

We were also a bit confused about the ‘Operational leadership in emergency services’ criteria. We agree, recent Chief Commissioners have not covered themselves in glory with this attribute, but the appointment of effective Emergency Management Commissioner for Victoria has been very successful, and our present Commissioner Andrew Crisp is doing an outstanding job.

Unless there is a proposal for police to assume that role again, as in the past it would be very counterproductive leading to all sorts of issues in a crisis to have two leaders responsible for emergency management – which one does what? And which one is accountable for what? A bad management practice.

It would also be obvious that many who were named or appeared in the Royal Commission would have difficulty with the integrity characteristic and should be automatically precluded.

Additionally, the impact is far wider than those who made headlines at the Commission. There is a large group of support staff and other Senior Officers that would have, or should have been aware of the impropriety of the lawyer X matters, with one exception, Sir Ken Jones. None of them saw the need to take decisive action.

That they may have been at personal or career risk by taking action is not an excuse as there is Protected Disclosure Legislation to protect them, and they did all take an oath that must be honoured. So applicants that fall into this category must be overlooked, as their actions are counter-intuitive to leadership.

As a starter, this probably wipes out most of the senior executives of the past ten years.

They were happy just to move along through the promotion chain without taking any responsibility – that demonstrates a lack of integrity.

There are some other interesting take-outs from this add.

The first is the order of the attributes – Leadership, Community Policing, Crime Prevention at the top of the list, followed by Detection. A philosophical concept of Policing established with the Peelian Principles and a philosophy that the CAA has been strongly advocating for five years.

It is also a policing philosophy roundly rejected by recent administrations, so the concept of the Peelian Principles is foreign to many police, including executives.

An exercise that some readers might enjoy is reflecting on how many of the Chief Commissioners in recent history would be ineligible for the job given these advertised criteria.

It is also clear the Government is looking outside the current serving aspirants.

If the Government follows through on these criteria, they will gain substantial support from the Community. This appointment is a watershed moment for Policing in this Sate – the selection process has started out on the right foot – delivering on this criteria is the challenge, and we wish the Government well.