The son of a police officer who killed himself after disappearing on duty has launched a petition to overhaul ‘discriminatory rules’ which keep his father off the Queensland Police Honour Roll.
Ayr Police Senior Sergeant Michael Isles disappeared while on duty in 2009, with a coroner ruling three years later he had taken his own life.
Current rules prevent him and 13 other officers being included on the honour roll, which recognises cops for their service, because of the way they died.
His son Steven Isles, along with the help of Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto, has launched an online petition that will be tabled in parliament in September.
Mr Isles said the petition came about after his family submitted a complaint in September 2018, raising concerns about the ‘prohibitive clause’ in the criteria.
The ombudsman returned their findings in July 2020 and recommended Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carrol remove the clause and include Mr Isles’ father on the list.
But after a month, nothing had been done, so he contacted Mr Dametto, his local MP, for help.
‘This is certainly something that has morphed into a cause,’ he told Seven News.
‘This is something that is done for the greater good of mental health across Australia and for policing across Australia.’
He said the ‘discriminatory’ clause was inconsistent across Australia and that mental health injuries should be recognised the same as physical ones.
‘There are so many people on the wall already who have died by suicide so it is bizarre that all of a sudden stopped recognising mental health injuries and charged ahead to exclude them,’ Mr Isles said.
He said if the petition fails, there are a number of other avenues to pursue.
Mr Isles urged Commissioner Carrol, who he recognises is new to the role, to reach out to his family.
Mr Isles said his family want Senior Sergeant Isles recognised on Police Remembrance Day next month.
Mr Dametto told The Townsville Bulletin he was sponsoring the petition because: ‘It pains me to think why someone who has lost their life while on duty isn’t on the roll.’
Mr Isles said his father served on the force for 36 years and it would ‘mean a lot’ to have his name on the wall in Brisbane as they currently have nothing to commemorate him.
A Queensland Police spokesman told Daily Mail Australia that the body is currently considering the recommendations of the ombudsman.
‘A review of the current QPS Honours and Awards Policy has commenced with a view to being more inclusive,’ the spokesman said.
‘It is expected this review will be completed within the next few months.
‘This remains a complex and important issue and one that commissioners across Australian jurisdictions are aware of.
‘Queensland currently follow guidelines that are consistent with the National Police Memorial guidelines and as such it is appropriate to continue consultations across jurisdictions.’