Dametto backs campaign to honour fallen police
A PARLIAMENTARY e-petition calling for consideration on merit of serving police officers whose loss of life can be attributed to suicide being added to the Police Honour Roll has gained the strong support of Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.
Mr Dametto is sponsoring the e-petition started by local resident Steven Isles, who lost his father, Senior Sergeant Michael Isles, in the line of duty more than 10 years ago.
“Recognition of serving officers who have lost their lives to suicide in the line of duty will go a long way to not only supporting the families of those who have lose their battle with mental health but also help destigmatise mental health issues more broadly across Queensland and through the Queensland Police Service,” Mr Dametto said.
“In 2020, it doesn’t matter you’re in mining, construction, health, education or the private sector, mental health is something we are all addressing. Making these amendments to the criteria will go a long way to supporting not only families of the fallen but officers dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“Steven has fought a lengthy battle with Queensland Police to recognise his father over what is a very simple criteria change called for by this e-petition. It’s the right thing to do and I have no doubt there will be strong community support for it.”
Mr Isles said it had been a more than 10 year long fight to get his father recognised, which resulted in a recent finding by the Queensland Ombudsman that recommended the Queensland Police Commissioner reconsider adding Senior Sergeant Isles to the Queensland Police Honour Roll.
“It has been difficult enough for my family to deal with the loss of a loved one, an exemplary veteran Queensland Police Officer who dedicated 36 years of his life to the serving the community of Queensland,” Mr Isles said.
“And after a decade, it is high time to provide my family and my father Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Michael Isles with a greater closure.”
Mr Isles said the Ombudsman’s finding was a “a significant step forward for mental health across Australia and for policing”.
“Systemic change is important. Removing stigmas associated with mental health injury has been boosted by the Queensland Ombudsman finding that the blanket prohibition, by the Queensland Police Honour Roll criteria, to exclude from the Honour Roll recognition of police officers deemed to have died by suicide is discriminatory,” he said.
“It is disappointing that a common sense finding has taken more than a decade to achieve.”
Mr Isles said that since the Ombudsman’s finding on July 8, there had been no contact from the Queensland Police Commissioner’s office to either discuss the recommendations or to communicate to his family that the Commissioner’s office was considering those findings.
“There has been a great deal of support from police officers both serving and retired and from families, relatives and loved ones of serving police officers who are deemed to have died by suicide,” Mr Isles said.
“The push for change is a push for a cause, to see systemic change, further breakdown of the stigmatisation of mental health injury and for more broad recognition, that if the “prohibitive clause” that the Ombudsman recommends be removed from the Queensland Police Honour Roll criteria is actually removed, there are fallen police officers that on merit are entitled to Police Honour Roll recognition.”
Mr Dametto called on Police Minister Mark Ryan to support the findings of the Ombudsman to give recognition to not only the Isles family, but all families who had lost serving officers to suicide in the line of duty.
“I urge the Minister to institute this change as a matter of principle and give some closure to these families,” he said.
The e-petition will close on September 7, before being tabled in parliament and referred on to the relevant Minister for a response.
To view the e-petition, click here.