AFP Appoints New Deputy Commissioners

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw has welcomed the appointment of two long-serving AFP officers to the rank of Deputy Commissioner, including to the role of Chief Police Officer of ACT Policing.

Deputy Commissioner Krissy Barrett will manage the National Security portfolio, and Deputy Commissioner Scott Lee has become the substantive Chief Police Officer of the ACT, following the retirement of Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan.

The two new Deputies will work alongside Deputy Commissioner Crime Ian McCartney and Deputy Commissioner International and Specialist Capabilities Command Lesa Gale.

It is the first time the AFP has had two female sworn Deputy Commissioners in its permanent senior executive team, with Deputy Commissioner Gale and Deputy Commissioner Barrett only the second and third women respectively to be appointed to the rank.

Governor-General David Hurley approved the two new appointments on 28 March, 2024.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said Deputy Commissioner Lee and Deputy Commissioner Barrett were experienced, dedicated and determined to protect the communities they served.

Deputy Commissioner Lee most recently performed the role of Assistant Commissioner Cyber Command, combatting the growing threat of cyber crime targeting Australian governments, businesses, academia and financial institutions.

He also performed the roles of Assistant Commissioner Specialist Protective Command, Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism and Special Investigations; and Assistant Commissioner International Operations.

“Deputy Commissioner Lee is well-respected throughout the policing community in Australia and across the world,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

“During his 38-year career with the AFP, Deputy Commissioner Lee established the AFP’s First Nations Unit and the global Women in Counter Terrorism Program.

“He has been recognised for his leadership and distinguished contribution to the AFP by being awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2014, National Police Service Medal in 2000 and a Commissioner’s Commendation for Excellence in Overseas Service for his role in the AFP’s response to the Bali Bombings and for his time as the AFP Senior Officer in Bangkok, Thailand.

“As ACT Chief Police Officer, Deputy Commissioner Lee will be responsible for the 900-plus members of ACT Policing.”

Deputy Commissioner Barrett was previously the Assistant Commissioner of Counter Terrorism and Special Investigations, which includes foreign interference and espionage.

During her 22 years with the AFP, Deputy Commissioner Barrett has been appointed to a number of senior positions, including Assistant Commissioner for Southern Command (Victoria/Tasmania).

“Her extensive operational experience also includes general policing and investigative roles, including Deputy Chief Police Officer of ACT Policing, Commander of Operations Southern Command, and leading teams in money laundering, organised crime and the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

“For her distinguished service to the Solomon Islands and the Bali Bombings investigation, Deputy Commissioner Barrett was recognised for her leadership and contribution with a Police Overseas Service Medal in 2004 and an Operations Medal in 2005 respectively.”

Commissioner Kershaw said the AFP had a laser-like focus on protecting Australians and Australia’s interest.

“Residents of the ACT can be assured that Chief Police Officer Lee will work tirelessly to keep them safe,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

“Community policing is so important and our dedicated ACT Policing members undertake exceptional work every day.”

Commissioner Kershaw said the AFP would stay a step ahead of organised crime and those who sought to harm Australia’s interests.

“There is no doubt that the rules-based order and rule of law are being challenged at levels that have placed many countries on high alert,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

“We are facing an uncertain world and constant technological advancements, which not only assist law enforcement but unfortunately also provide avenues for criminality.

“For the AFP, the crimes committed today were not imagined a decade ago. Policing has changed, it requires an experienced workforce that is tech enabled but maintains its humanity. That is the AFP.”

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