Deputy will not pursue top job

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Deputy will not pursue top job

High profile: Bass Coast Community Foundation chairman Alan Brown thanks Victoria Police deputy commissioner Ken Lay for speaking.

POLICE deputy commissioner Ken Lay has no desire to head the force.
The former South Gippslander has instead thrown his support behind chief commissioner Simon Overland and believes an investigation into police management will only improve Victoria Police for the community’s benefit.
Deputy commissioner Lay was the guest speaker at a Bass Coast Community Foundation dinner in Inverloch on Friday night.
“The current chief commissioner has got three years of his term and my job is to support him strongly over the next three years,” he told The Star after his speech.
Mr Lay was formerly deputy commissioner – road policing. He was appointed deputy commissioner – crime, after the officer who previously held that role, Sir Ken Jones, was stood down by Mr Overland soon after Sir Ken announced his retirement, effective from August.
Mr Overland’s decision prompted the State Government to launch an inquiry into police management, to be undertaken by criminal barrister, Jack Rush – a man whom deputy commissioner Lay described as “assertive”.
“We have to look to it as an opportunity. There have been numerous investigations into Victoria Police over the years and we’ve never had them come out without a positive result,” he said.
“The whole saga is about making the community safer. We have to make sure that we work with this inquiry to give the community the police force that you deserve.”
Deputy commissioner Lay said the fact 1900 police officers had expressed no faith in Mr Overland during a vote of no confidence by the Police Association Victoria was a “major problem for us”.
“Certainly we need to work through it and understand and try to address the issues. Some we can fix, some we can’t,” he said.
The deputy attempted to quell any public loss in confidence in the Victoria Police, saying votes of no confidence in the chief commissioner were not uncommon.
His new role will entail overseeing covert operations and addressing outlaw motorcycle gangs, drugs, gang violence and fraud.
Questions from the floor at the dinner, at the Inlet Hotel, canvassed his job prospects (Mr Lay joked he may seek a position on the desalination plant), his ability to work with numerous state governments and the effect of receiving a speeding fine.
If anything, media coverage of his fine promoted public awareness of the impacts of speeding, the deputy commissioner said.
He said the current State Government had pledged the “biggest influx of recruits that we have ever seen”, with 1700 new police officers and 940 public safety officers to be posted to railway stations.
Asked whether he could help direct some of the 1700 police recruits to South Gippsland, deputy commissioner Lay said: “They have been allocated to the high risk areas for the next 12 months. In July, we will be making an assessment about where the next group will go.
“We will look at population, crime rates, the number of young people, the number of car crashes and a whole host of other demographic data. We will look at the data again in July before we make an assessment about whether Bass Coast is a high risk area.”
The Star asked deputy commissioner Lay about whether the proliferation of potholes in South Gippsland was affecting road safety.
“The state of local roads is a matter that needs to be resolved amongst local leaders. That is for them to determine what needs to be done,” he said.
Born and raised in Korumburra, deputy commissioner Lay was formerly the inspector in charge of South Gippsland and Bass Coast shires. He continues to play golf at Korumburra and plans to retire to Inverloch.
Foundation chairman Alan Brown said deputy commissioner Lay was “well respected” for his ability and community spirit, adding “his integrity is unchallenged”.
He congratulated Mr Lay on a “wonderful career to date”.
“We know you are only a heartbeat from the top,” Mr Brown said.
“We wish you well in your career and whatever your career holds.”
The dinner was held as a fundraising event to raise awareness of the foundation’s work.  
Executive officer Kate Dwyer said 13 applications from around the Bass Coast were received for the current round of grants.
Successful applicants for grants of up to $5000 will be announced soon.
In the past financial year, the foundation gave $35,000 and relies on donations and fundraising. To donate or find out more, contact Ms Dwyer on 5672 3356 or see www.bccf.org.au

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Posted by on May 17 2011. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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