Advocacy “My Passion” for Retiring Top Cop O’Callaghan Despite No Plans For New Job

Outgoing Western Australian Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan says he would be interested in an advocacy after leaving WA Police next week, despite no plans to enter a new role anytime soon.

Dr O’Callaghan will officially retire after 13 years as WA’s top cop but while he does not have any offers so far, he says an advocacy role would be an ideal role for him, something he calls “my passion”.

“If an opportunity comes up for advocacy from somebody, I would certainly be interested in that,” Dr O’Callaghan said.

Speaking in his final media conference on Thursday, he revealed he had spoken to WA mining magnate Andrew Forrest on a number of issues including remote Indigenous communities but he was not entering a new position right after leaving the force.

“I’ve had discussions with Mr Forrest about a whole range of things, mostly about what we are doing in Kununurra,” he said

“But I’ve got no plans to join anybody at this stage.”

Dr O’Callaghan said he was involved in ongoing charity work and was expecting to travel to Mongolia.

However, he said issues in WA were still important, identifying methamphetamine use and family violence as two of the biggest crime problems.

He claimed miscarriages of justice ranked as some of his biggest lows.

“You can think of nothing worse than someone spending time in prison for an offence they never committed, for something the police didn’t do correctly, and so they would rank as some of my biggest lows,” he said.

However, he believed raising to public issues was an important ability he possessed as police commissioner and it would be something he would miss when he left the job.

“I think what I’ll probably miss the most is the power it gives me to speak publicly on issues,” he said.

“The role of commissioner of police has enormous social power to advocate.”

“It comes with the fact you wear a uniform and people take notice.”

Despite retiring, Mr O’Callaghan said he had no regrets leaving the police force.

“I think it’s a good decision and I feel good about going,” he said.

“It will be good to move into a new life.”

He said he would take a break for a while before returning to work, planning to take his three foster children to school on his first full day in retirement from the force.

Australian Criminal Intelligence Agency chief executive Chris Dawson, a former WA Police deputy commissioner will replace Dr O’Callaghan in the top job.

Dr O’Callaghan said Mr Dawson would be a capable new commissioner, someone who was “very experienced” and would do a “great job”.

Mr Dawson will start on August 16.

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