Statement from Commissioner

Over the past week a Facebook Live post presented on the page of Deputy Commissioner Murray Smalpage APM. It is readily apparent from viewing the video and from the statement attributed to Deputy Commissioner Smalpage that its release was accidental.

I have reviewed the video and read the statement attributed to Deputy Commissioner Smalpage. I have also discussed the matter with him.

I note within the video there is no reference that can be taken to be statements directed to a particular individual or that contained any defamatory or demeaning comments attributed to a person or their beliefs, choices or appearance.

The statement that appears to have caused the most offence is one which Deputy Commissioner Smalpage has been up front about owning and stating his clear position that he did not intend to cause such offence.

The general membership of the Northern Territory Police Force have not been subjected to discipline in circumstances similar to this. I have confirmed this with the Professional Standards Command.

Deputy Commissioner Smalpage has taken ownership of his statements in the workplace and put out a public statement on Sunday morning.

He clearly did not expect his comments to be broadcast to such a wide audience and this circumstance is one that serves as a timely reminder that your smartphones can be inadvertently activated as occurred on this occasion.

With the information before me at the moment, it is clear this was accidental, that the comments were not intended to cause offence and he is deeply apologetic for the choice of language.

I’m not of the belief that there remains anything ambiguous as it relates to the actions of Deputy Commissioner Smalpage and the comments he made.

The video and apology of Deputy Commissioner Smalpage speak for themselves and as such no investigation is required.

I am disappointed that the comments have caused offence and apologise to those that have been impacted by them.

Social media vitriol is a sad reality in our professional and private lives which deeply impacts people’s morality and notably mental health and wellbeing.

If the people in the world were much kinder to one another, we would be in a far better place.

Jamie Chalker APM

Commissioner of Police and CEO Fire and Emergency Services

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