When depression and ” the job ” is obvious to the family.
A letter from a daughter to the Commissioner of Police.
8 years on and still ‘ no response ‘
Monday 21st August 2006
ATTN: Ken Maroney
Commissioner of Police
Sydney Police Centre
GPO Box 45
Sydney NSW 2000
It is with regret that I write this letter to you. A letter of this nature should not ever need to be written and the events that led to the writing of this letter should not have taken place.
I am writing to tell you about my father, James Breeze. My father is a Bravery Award winning Vietnam Veteran who joined the Police Force 25 years ago. Since joining dad has spent the full 25 years on the front line. During those 25 years he has added value to the NSW Police Force not just in his front line duties, but also as a Protocol Officer, a Gay Liaison Officer, an Aboriginal Liaison officer, a Leading Senior Const., training other officers and has also been a proactive and positive member of the NSW Police Force.
Dad is a leader among his pears, in the last 25 years I have been fortunate enough to meet some of dad’s peers and work mates and I am always so proud of my dad. Work mates and colleagues have so much respect for my dad and the contributions he has made but most importantly the support he has given them. His accolades include; a Good Conduct Medal, Long Service and the St John’s Life Saving Award (presented by you in 1994).
Also over the last 25 years, I have been less fortunate to see the effect my fathers chosen vocation has had on him as an individual. 25 years as a front line Police Officer has really taken its toll on my father. Growing up I began to be able to tell a good day from a ‘bad’ day. When I say bad; visiting an accident, witnessing family violence, violence on children, jumping in a car to hold someone’s body together, literally, while you wait for help to come, pulling the deceased from the wreck of car. Worst of all, pulling your deceased mate from a car wreck. For 5 years my dad ran a one man station at Barellan. Country life and people were fantastic, everyone knew everyone. No one preempted hard it would be to pull your dead mate from a car. I have heard my dad cry, I have seen his eyes when he comes home from a ‘bad’ day. I know there are things so horrible, that they are far beyond description. At times I have asked dad to share his load, and he has just looked at me and cried, he has said that there are people and things in this life worth not knowing.
The most recent of these ‘bad’ days, was in February when a young girl walked into Bowral Police Station and attempted suicide by Police. She held a gun up to my father and after time so did he. This was the event that changed my fathers life. My father is a broken man. Due to this recent event, my father has taken sick leave from work. His family and friends have grouped around him, each day is a challenge, and each day is hard. You see, the Police Force defines who my dad is, he loves his job, he lives and breathes the police force and now, he feels as though they have forgotten all the good he did, all the sacrifices he made.
Two days ago, a GSO (administration officer) called my father and told him that on his behalf, they have a medical discharge for him to sign! After 25 years of devoting your life to an organization regardless of whether they service the Australian community or not, you deserve more than a phone call telling you are no longer needed and that your condition is not being recognized. No one calling to sympathies, no superior calling to see ‘how you are’, no one calling to see what assistance they can lend you, what help they can give you after all the years of giving yourself to them. Talk about putting a nail in the coffin! What is the NSW Police Force trying to do to my father? Can you please tell whoever is making these decisions that I would like my dad at my wedding in November, and I would like him there for Xmas, and I would like him one day to meet his grand kids, but most of all, tell them I need him here, and I need him in my life. If you don’t help him and give him the assistance and respect he deserves, you will push him over the edge. I am outraged that my father has been treated like this, not only by an individual, but by the NSW Police Force.
If dad had of fallen pregnant, the Police Force would have issued him another shirt and given him all the necessary assistance and a new position.
Please give my father his dignity.
Ken, I would like to meet with you to discuss this further. I am really hoping with every bone in body that you are not aware of this treatment and that you can help me and my father.
Looking forward to hearing from you.