Qld top cop to stand down, finish up in role next month

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll is considering not seeking to extend her contract.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll is considering not seeking to extend her contract. Photo: AAP

Queensland’s top cop will stand down, ending speculation about her future amid a youth crime crisis and reports of officer unrest.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll says she will not seek an extension to her contract that was set to expire in July after enduring mounting pressure.

Carroll will instead walk away on March 1 after almost five years at the helm.

Queensland’s 20th police commissioner had been set to discuss her future with the state government in the coming weeks.

However Carroll fast-tracked an announcement after speculation about her future had intensified.

“Since the start of the year, I’ve had candid conversations with my husband, with my children, who have been unbelievably supportive, every step of the way,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

“I made this decision and was going to have the discussion about not renewing my contract with the minister in about two weeks’ time, but because of the heightened speculation and commentary, I brought these discussions forward.”

Carroll will stand down amid an outcry over youth crime after 70-year-old grandmother Vyleen White was fatally stabbed outside a shopping centre west of Brisbane in a suspected carjacking earlier this month.

The top cop had also been under pressure to intervene following reports of unrest in the ranks after Gold Coast officer Senior Sergeant Arron Ottaway was allegedly stood down.

Sen Sgt Ottaway was allegedly disciplined after reports he helped catch armed offenders by authorising officers to ram a stolen car on the Gold Coast earlier this month.

Carroll said she didn’t feel like a “scapegoat” after confirming she would stand down.

“I would love to have had the conversation with the (police) minister in my time … but I purposely brought it forward so we can move on – this was my decision,” she said.

“But it is challenging, the exponential increase in demand is something that we have never seen before, particularly prior to COVID.

“The world has changed since COVID. To have in one year a 25 per cent increase in domestic violence is just unheard of.”

Carroll wouldn’t speculate on who would replace her after revealing her plans to Police Minister Mark Ryan on Tuesday morning.

“I’m very sad about it because you’ve got a distinguished leader here who has dedicated her entire life to serving Queensland and she’s had to make a decision earlier because of a public narrative,” Ryan said.

After five years as Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner, Ms Carroll has been at the head of the police service since July 2019.

Her stint included overseeing the COVID-19 response, a royal commission into the police’s domestic violence response and the ongoing youth crime crisis.

Carroll said her “darkest days” were in mid-2021 and late 2022.

On June 26, 2021 Senior Constable Dave Masters was killed on duty while Constables Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow lost their lives in the Wieambilla shootings on December 12 a year later.

“They were heart-wrenching moments which rocked our blue family and I know this organisation will never forget the contributions of those fine officers,” an emotional Carroll said.


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