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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 787 ..

Rural Residential Development : Commander D. McDermott, APM

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (6.38), in reply: Mr Speaker, I would like, first of all, to put on the table an amended figure in relation to the expenses incurred by the Government under the preliminary agreement with the Hall rural estate. The Chief Minister asked me to indicate that, on checking the expenses that the Government has incurred, rather than being $140,000, the figure is $107,888.

Mr Speaker, my main purpose in rising tonight in this place is to record my appreciation for the services of one of Canberra's longest serving and most respected police officers. Yesterday the Commissioner of the AFP and I announced that Denis McDermott will leave the ACT Region of the AFP to head up the national AFP's Protection Team. He will be succeeded in his position as Commander, District Operations by Commander Sandra Peisley - another long-serving Canberra police officer. I would like, on behalf of the ACT Government, to welcome Commander Peisley back to the ACT Region. Members will be aware that Commander Peisley was commander of the Tuggeranong District for a period in the past.

I particularly want to put on record my thanks for Denis McDermott's loyal years of service to the ACT community through its policing services. Denis joined the ACT police force in 1967, and transferred to the Australian Federal Police when it was formed in 1979. In his 31 years as a police officer, Denis is one of only a few who have been here long enough to have spent almost all of their life working in the ACT. He worked in community policing, accident investigations, crime branch, breath analysis, the Coroner's office, personnel and training. He became Superintendent in Charge of Communications before transferring to the position of Officer in Charge of the City District in 1993. Here, Superintendent McDermott became so well known. He became actively involved in crime prevention strategies, and alcohol and drug reduction programs, and was a strong advocate of the teams-based policing model.

In 1995 Denis was awarded the Australian Police Medal for his long and dedicated service to community policing in the ACT. Shortly after I was proud to announce, with the commissioner, that he had been promoted to the position of Commander, District Operations. His rise through the ranks of the ACT police service and then the AFP is a fine example of how Canberra's police officers are among the best Australia has to offer. I am aware that several ACT police have gone on to achieve positions of high rank in the AFP and in other State and Territory police services.

While today I mark with some regret Denis's imminent departure from the region, I know two things. First, he will continue the fine tradition of Canberra police who leave the ACT Region to pass on their skills to others in national positions within the AFP. Secondly, the experience that Denis gains in that position will equip him well for a return one day in the future to the ACT Region. In my three-and-a-bit years as Minister responsible for policing, I have had a lot to do with Commander McDermott, and I must say that his courtesy, professional advice and fearless advocacy for law enforcement will be missed. I also appreciate his ability to work as a member of a small management team

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