During the 80’s I was patrolling the M1 Pacific Motorway and had cause to intercept a well-to-do businessman. When asked why he was speeding 140km/hr in a 100km/r zone he offered no reason. I required his driver’s license which he presented and when I opened the license folder there was also $300 in $20 notes folded inside. I advised him was he aware that there was $300 in his license folder and he replied it’s yours if you want, and we can all move on and pretend this never happened. I arrested him for attempting to bribe me.
After processing this gentleman at the police station, I was shocked by the response of my colleagues to what I had done as it hasn’t been done at our station in living memory. I did something that I thought that all police do.
At the time I was shocked to find that was considered worthy of recognition. But because of what I did, fellow police officers began to refuse the bribes, they were offered to let people off traffic tickets. To me, at the time it was not a big deal in the scheme of life. But you know, sometimes, changing the culture of an organisation is a step by step process done best by example.
Two years later my superiors in the QPS identified me with others and appointed me to work in Witness and Offender Protection Unit in the famous “The Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct” (the Fitzgerald Inquiry; 1987–1989), into Queensland Police corruption, it was a judicial inquiry.
As the issue for the QPF organisation was to find untainted Police, at the time, to help conduct and open, accountable and transparent Inquiry, to the complete satisfaction of the general public, as police public reputation was at an all-time low.
The influence of change later changed the whole culture of the Qld Police Force into the new brand Qld Police Service.”