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Good Golly! Police face of Covid-19 steps into hot seat; shapes as likely front-runner

Queensland’s most experienced deputy commissioner will step into the top cop role while the search for the state’s twenty-first Police Commissioner kicks off next week.

Feb 22, 2024, updated Feb 22, 2024
New Commissioner Steve Gollschewski briefs the media with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (Photo: ABC)

New Commissioner Steve Gollschewski briefs the media with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (Photo: ABC)

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski will take up the role on March 2 – the day after outgoing Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll hangs up her badge.

Commissioner Carroll announced this week that she would not be asking for her contract to be renewed. Her five-years at the helm ends March 1, four months short of when her contract was due to expire. She was Queensland’s first female Police Commissioner – a job she took after being the state’s first female fire chief.

Her decision not continue in the role followed weeks of criticism over her handling of youth crime and growing unrest in her ranks. She no longer wanted the speculation about her fate to be a distraction.

Mr Gollschewski is well known for his role leading the police response to the COVID pandemic.

Known as “Golly”, Mr Gollschewksi led the police operations which included officers overseeing hotel quarantine, airport security and border security on our roads.

He is Queensland’s most experienced Deputy Commissioner, with over a decade in the role, and 44 years experience as a police officer.

Just after midday, Commissioner Carroll announced Mr Gollschewski’s appointment as acting Queensland Police Commissioner in a statewide email.

“Steve Gollschewski who is currently the Special Coordinator for Police and Emergency Services Reform, brings a wealth of knowledge and over 44 years of experience in policing, disaster management, governance and reform,’’ she wrote in the email obtained by InQueensland.

He will be interim Commissioner while the government kicks off its search for Queensland’s 21st Police Commissioner.

The selection panel will be lead by Queensland Public Service Commissioner David Mackie.

Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission Chair, Bruce Barbour, Integrity Commissioner Linda Waugh, and Tasmanian Police Commissioner, Donna Adams will also be on the selection panel.

Premier Steven Miles welcome the appointment of Mr Gollschewski with government expected to release an invitation for expressions of interest in the Police Commissioner’s role will open next week.

“I worked closely with Steve on a daily basis during our response to COVID and he is an extraordinarily competent and experienced leader.

“I look forward to the selection process for a new Commissioner beginning in the near future, ‘’ he said.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said Queenslanders were in “good hands” with Mr Gollschewski’s appointment and experience.

“Queenslanders know they can rely on Steve Gollschewski. We saw that during the response to COVID.

“The Queensland Police Service and the Queensland community are in good hands,” Mr Ryan said.

 

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