Beyond bollards and harnessing super recognisers, 2018 scholarship presentations

Acting Inspector Don Dunstan from the Fortitude Valley Patrol Group and Senior Sergeant Chris Tritton from the Gold Coast District recently delivered oral presentations based on their respective Suncorp and Courier-Mail scholarships awarded in 2018.

The presentation was attended by Commissioner Ian Stewart, Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford, Assistant Commissioner Alastair Dawson and other senior executive officers from the QPS, along with Matt Oberhardt, Assistant Editor of The Courier-Mail, and Barbara Stegeman, Regional Manager of Suncorp.

Each year, a plethora of applications are received for the scholarships, which allow chosen officers to focus on a particular issue and conduct thorough research to implement practical solutions and best practices from across the world.

Speaking first, Acting Inspector Dunstan completed his research project on policing in crowded spaces and police responses to critical incidents.

As part of his research project, Acting Inspector Dunstan travelled to Canada speaking with officers who look after the Calgary Stampede, and also to officers in New York who handle numerous events, particularly the Macy’s fourth of July parade. Alongside this, he also took valuable lessons from key events such as the Boston Marathon bombings and the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay incident.

By undertaking research across a variety of jurisdictions, Acting Inspector Dunstan was able to bring his findings back to the QPS and propose strategies to better prepare Queensland officers for scenarios which may happen in the future. Some key themes which arose included inter-agency and cross-government partnerships and training, as well as tactical responses to critical incidents.

Acting Inspector Dunstan was then presented with his certificate from Ms Stegeman from Suncorp.

Following this, Commissioner Stewart addressed the scholarship recipients and distinguished guests, acknowledging the 2018 Courier-Mail scholarship as the last of its kind, after a 30-year partnership.

Commissioner Stewart paid tribute to the many Courier-Mail Police scholarship winners over the years and emphasised his gratitude for the Courier-Mail’s investment, noting that strategies implemented thanks to this scholarship have shaped the Service as it is today.

Noting that an official thank you ceremony was still to come, Commissioner Stewart presented Mr Oberhardt from The Courier-Mail with a personal thank you note, for the many years of support provided.

Speaking next, Senior Sergeant Tritton delivered his presentation on super recognisers and how they can enhance QPS capabilities for detecting and deterring crime in Queensland.

Super recognisers is a term which refers to people with a proven, better-than-average facial recognition ability.

As part of his research, Senior Sergeant Tritton travelled to London where he spent time with the Metropolitan Police, researching how they used super-recognisers operationally.

Senior Sergeant Tritton also spent time with academics determining how testing a super recogniser’s proficiency is done and how this could be completed in Queensland.

Being a super recogniser himself, Senior Sergeant Tritton has since worked with academics to identify members of the QPS on the Gold Coast who are super recognisers, and can assist in suspect identification.

Senior Sergeant Tritton is also looking at the application for super recognisers proactively for significant events.

Senior Sergeant Tritton was presented with his scholarship by Mr Oberhardt.

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