Thursday, September 16, 2010

Surfers Paradise police inspector caught asleep on job

Another black mark for the Gold Coast wallopers. They seem to have no standards at all. And the police hierarchy are no better -- giving the slumbering cop no more than a slap on the wrist

A SENIOR Gold Coast police inspector has been busted for falling asleep on the job at one of Queensland's busiest stations. The inspector was on duty at the Surfers Paradise police station in May when he was spotted dozing in a room at the rear of the station.

At least one officer complained to management and the incident was subsequently investigated by the state's Ethical Standards Command. A police spokesman yesterday confirmed the officer had been disciplined and "reassigned" to other duties, but not demoted.

The embarrassing incident comes just days ahead of a Crime and Misconduct Commission Inquiry hearing into the behaviour of police officers on the Glitter Strip. Next week's CMC hearing, sparked by Operation Tesco, will examine alleged misconduct by Gold Coast officers, including drug use, accepting drinks at nightclubs and associating with known criminals.

A Surfers Paradise police officer told The Courier-Mail the dozing inspector had been witnessed by up to 30 other officers and that it was not the first time an officer had fallen asleep on the job. "I am not sure which is worse: the commissioned officer who was asleep or the others who allowed it to happen," he said. "What sort of example is this setting to junior officers if their superiors are sleeping on the job?"

The incident happened on a weekend night shift, a traditionally busy period.

The officer, who asked not to be named, said many officers simply turned a blind eye to unprofessional behaviour. "The culture of protecting wrongdoers is alive and well," he said.

A police spokesman said the incident was investigated and appropriate action was taken. "The officer concerned received managerial guidance," he said. "He remains in an operational role within the South Eastern Police Region."

Three serving, or former, Gold Coast officers have been stood down as part of the Tesco probe and at least one is facing criminal charges. Dozens of Gold Coast police have appeared at the CMC's secret "star chamber" hearings, forced to give evidence against allegedly crooked colleagues under threat of being jailed for contempt.


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