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Prior to joining the Australian Federal Police, Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz enjoyed a 30 year career with the Queensland Police Service, commencing when she was sworn in on 27 September 1985.

As a First Year Constable she was transferred to Cairns Police Station.  Following a wide range of duties in Cairns and then in  Brisbane City,  Assistant Commissioner Platz was transferred in 1990 to the North Coast Region where she successfully gained her Detective Appointment and for many years was involved in the investigation of child protection issues, criminal investigations and juvenile related crimes.

Assistant Commissioner Platz has had a broad range of operational and managerial roles. She was promoted to Sergeant in Police Prosecutions where she prosecuted many trials, including committal proceedings for murder, rape and sexual offences against children.

As a Senior Sergeant she was involved in the Legal Services Branch, where she managed the Training Unit which was responsible for the training of Queensland’s prosecutors and brief managers.

In 1997 she was selected as a member of a Rotary Group Study exchange program where she travelled to Canada and studied proactive, community based, problem solving policing initiatives.  In 1999 she was one of 15 people from within Australian to be given a 2 year scholarship on ethics and leadership.  This scholarship challenged her across a wide range of areas and took her to Vietnam to seek initiatives to combat domestic violence and to the Northern Territory to experience policing in Indigenous communities.  This scholarship culminated in receipt of the Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Award.

Assistant Commissioner Platz was promoted to Inspector in the North Coast Region in 2000 where she worked as the staff officer to the Commissioner, the Ministerial Liaison Officer and the District Officer of the North Coast Region.

She has been heavily involved in review processes having  managed the internal review of Information Communications and Technology; was seconded to the Service Delivery and Performance Commission which conducted a review of the Queensland Police Service; and the 2011 Flood Crisis Review Group. 

In January 2014 Assistant Commissioner Platz was in charge of the People Capability Command. This Command is responsible for all training and development of police, two police academies, a leadership centre, recruiting, workplace safety and wellbeing

Assistant Commissioner Platz has a Masters of Business (University of the Sunshine Coast), a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary/VET) (University of the Sunshine Coast) and a Masters of Studies (Applied Criminology) on a Wakefield scholarship from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Crime Operations

As Assistant Commissioner of Crime Operations she am responsible for the Crime Operations – Response portfolio and the Victim Based Crime portfolio.  Crime Operations - Response investigate a broad range of crime types including drug importations and firearms trafficking and have teams situated in each State and Territory. Crime Operations – Response is also responsible for investigating matters considered to be politically sensitive including those that are likely to be of particular interest to, or may have the ability to adversely impact on, the Commonwealth Government, a Member of Parliament, or any other politically significant figure.

Our Victim Based Crime (VBC) function aims to reduce the incidence and impact of Commonwealth crimes against the person. Whilst VBC traditionally focused on Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking and People Smuggling the function has recently expanded responsibilities to include Australian citizens harmed or missing overseas such as kidnap victims or Australians who are seriously injured or killed as a result of criminal activity or a critical incident. VBC also delivers and contributes to a number outreach and prevention programs and efforts pertaining to missing persons and exploited children as well as management of Australian citizens and/or their family through our Family Investigative Liaison Officers (FILO) program, who have suffered harm as a result of critical incident.

Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz is responsible for Crime Operations in the Australian Federal Police.  She moved to the AFP in 2017 after having 30 years with the Queensland Police Service. 

Message from the Chairperson

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Policing is a complex endeavour and the complexity associated with policing is increasing with time and leading to immense challenges.  A key challenge for police agencies is how to utilise the organisations assets in the best ways to garner efficient and productive outcomes.  The use of finite resources such as personnel, motor vehicles, equipment and finances, are used in one domain and at the expense of other activities.  This can be referred to as the ‘opportunity costs’ associated with policing.  The challenge is therefore to use these resources wisely and in ways that add value.

Police practices have increasingly become the subject of scrutiny, both internal and external of police agencies.  Media and academe have focused their attentions on what police do and how they do it.  Increasingly though, police agencies are critically appraising their efforts in ways which enable them to determine whether they are achieving positive results from their efforts.  Increasingly, police are joining with researchers to identify the research gaps and to undertake collaborative research endeavours and further to evaluate existing practices.  These approaches which challenge the conventional thinking are leading to new learnings and therefore changing positively the way that policing is undertaken.

The Australia and New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing (ANZSEBP) is supportive of the approach which builds new learning through research.  It supports partnership approaches between policing jurisdictions and with research partners to ensure that police practice is evidence-based and consistent with the best prevailing evidence of the day.

Despite the challenges contemporary policing confront, the commitment to new knowledge and the evaluation of existing practice benefits police officers, police agencies and the communities these agencies support.

Stephen Brown
Deputy Commissioner, WAPol
Chair, ANZSEBP