Chalker ends police awards partnership with Rotary Club after Zach Rolfe nominated

by | Mar 16, 2022 | News | 0 comments

Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker ended the NT Police’s 30-year relationship with the Rotary Club of Darwin following Constable Zach Rolfe’s nomination for the club’s Police Officer of the Year Award, Sky News has reported.

The NT Independent understands the move to end the association with Rotary contradicts Mr Chalker’s own 10-year strategy plan to “develop and maintain diverse and productive partnerships” with community groups.

Mr Chalker wrote to the club earlier this year to withdraw the NT Police’s support for the award, which had been in run in partnership with the club since 1991, and which sees members of the public nominate three officers every year for the honour.

Constable Rolfe’s name was put forward to the club last year by hundreds of submissions while he was still facing a murder charge for the shooting death of Yuendumu man Kumanjayi Walker, which a jury acquitted him of last week.

Rotary president Paul Simon told Sky News there was no consultation with the club before Mr Chalker’s letter informing them the police would no longer support the award.

“We did receive a significant number of nominations for Zachary and whilst we understood there was a court case pending, given the significant number we had we still presented that nomination to the Police Commissioner for review and we were advised that nomination could not proceed,” he said.

“There was a message that needed to be sent, not by us, but by the public and we would be remiss not to put that forward.”

Mr Simon added he did not know if the decision to withdraw the support after 30 years was linked to the nomination of Constable Rolfe.

He told Sky the club still supports police, fire and emergency services, but was disappointed by Mr Chalker’s decision to withdraw its support of the award.

NT Police did not respond to questions, including why Mr Chalker would be ending community partnerships in contradiction of his own 10-year strategy plan for the police force.

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