Fair cop: Carroll walks away after five turbulent years as first female commissioner

Queensland’s top cop will stand down from her role after almost five years at the helm.

Feb 20, 2024, updated Feb 20, 2024
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan (right) and Commissioner Katarina Carroll. Ryan will support the renewal of her contract. (Photo: AAP Image/Dan Peled) .

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan (right) and Commissioner Katarina Carroll. Ryan will support the renewal of her contract. (Photo: AAP Image/Dan Peled) .

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll says she will not seek an extension to her contract that was set to expire in July and will finish up on March 1.

Ms Carroll has been under mounting pressure amid a youth crime crisis and reports of unrest among southeast Queensland officers.

She was appointed top cop in 2019, and was in charge during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wieambilla shootings that claimed two officers, a royal commission into the police’s domestic violence response and now an outcry over levels of youth crime.

Premier Steven Miles thanked Ms Carroll for her service.
“She has led both our fire service and our police service with distinction,” he said.

“She has delivered important reforms to both organisations.”

Although Carroll was yet to begin formal discussions with the state government , she issued a statement on Monday night that strongly suggested she would soon leave her post the only woman to have held the role.

“Ahead of those discussions, I’ve been considering my options with one of those being that I may not seek an extension to my contract as commissioner,” Ms Carroll said.

“Until those discussions happen, I remain firmly focused on tackling crime from every angle to keep our community safe.”

Carroll thanked her husband and children who had been “unbelievably supportive”.

Her career started in general duties in 1983 before working as a detective in the drug squad, crime operations and ethical standards.

Ms Carroll took on the role of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner in December 2014 before being elevated to the top policing job five years later.

As leader, Ms Carroll said she has always been open and up front about the challenges and pressures faced by frontline officers “while they continue to rise above and deliver outstanding policing services throughout Queensland.”

“I will always provide frank and fearless advice to government and as commissioner I will continue advocating for additional resources, system improvements and the support police need to keep Queensland safe,” she said.

Ms Carroll said an additional 10,000 people were processed through Queensland watch houses in 2023 compared to 2022 and many of those are linked to proactive high visibility police operations targeting youth crime.

She said police were committed to reducing youth crime through strong enforcement and bail compliance activities, high visibility policing and intervention and prevention programs.

Police Minister Mark Ryan had said he would support Ms Carroll seeking an extension to her contract.

Carroll was Queensland’s 20th police commissioner.

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