A historic apology has been made to former WA Police officers removed from the Force under section 8, due to a work-related illness or injury.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts offered the apology as Certificates of Honourable Discharge were presented to former officers at ceremonies in Perth and Bunbury.
The certificates aim to restore some dignity, after the way the careers of some medically retired officers ended.
For many years, officers who could no longer serve due to injury or illness were exited from the Force through the ‘loss of confidence’ provision of Section 8 of the Police Act.
This process has now ended, thanks to reforms introduced by the McGowan Government and passed by State Parliament this year.
The Police Amendment (Medical Retirement) Bill 2019 establishes a new stand-alone scheme for medical retirement, ensuring police officers can be medically retired with the dignity and respect they deserve.
The McGowan Government introduced an Australian-first $16 million Redress Scheme to recognise the indignity and treatment of some medically retired officers.
Following assessment by an independent panel, 265 former officers have been deemed eligible for payments.
As stated by Police Minister Michelle Roberts:
“We recognise the regrettable process in which these officers were removed from the Force and the psychological burden they carried because of the way their careers ended.
“Because of the reforms introduced by our Government and passed by Parliament, this kind of indignity will not happen again.
“I hope the presentation of these certificates goes some way to righting a historical wrong and gives these officers the dignity and recognition they deserve.”