Interviews

McCormack B

Interviewee: Mr Brian McCormack
Date of Birth: 11h May 1960
Interviewer: Deborah Lisson
Date of Interview: 20th November 2018
Verbatim Transcript: Meryl Gardiner
BOHG No: 2018-005
Total Length: hr min

Mr Brian McCormack made his career in the West Australian Police Force, retiring recently with the rank of Prosecuting ………..while serving in Bunbury.

Brian was born on the 11th May, 1960 in Fremantle and spent his child hood in Perth and Fremantle.
After leaving school, he attended the W.A University for a short time but did not enjoy that so applied to the Government Services Department.
On acceptance he was given a position as Junior Clerk with the State Government Insurance Office [SGIO]
After two years employment there which he found boring, he applied to the Police Force, which as well as being more interesting was a much better paid position.
His two year training was at the Maylands Police Academy, situated on the old Maylands aerodrome. Particular attention was given to the Physical Training as well as police procedure.

A short period was spent in Perth Central Police Station before being transferred to Victoria Quay Station on the Fremantle dockyard, where after a very short time he was confronted with his first unpleasant task – a bloated body floating in the harbour. The workers on the wharf would not go to work until the body had been removed.

This was the real eye-opener for him, quickly recognising that this was his job, it had to be done, so just do it. This attitude prevailed throughout his entire length of service. To add to his introduction to his new career, this particular drowning was the subject of much speculation and made front page news in the Sunday Times newspaper.
Truly a testing time for a First or Second year police officer.

His next transfer was to Bunbury under unusual circumstances.
He was twenty two years old and single, when two or three local staff were found guilty of a serious misconduct, Brian was sent within forty eight hours notice to replace one of them.
He found Bunbury in the Nineteen eighties as a quiet country town where he did a much greater variety of general duties than in Perth.

However, after three years he returned to Perth for ten yeasr during which he spent time with the Childrens’ Court and became a Prosecutor.

As there is always humour, he found in those days the Magistrates court
provided that commodity with some of them having much more freedom with their attitude
than they now have. Brian gives us a couple of sample stories, without names, of course.

Returning to Bunbury in Nineteen Ninety Five [1995] as Prosecutor he found Bunbury a much different place.
The status of general police work was changing rapidly. Where before the police would carry a pair of hand cuffs and perhaps a baton, now they are armed with a gun, tasers, pepper spray and more. Their packs now weigh about ten kilos.

Drugs and the associated increase in burglaries, violence, particularly domestic violence makes the policeman’s task much more dangerous and stressful. He cannot understand why they take drugs and ruin their life.
Technology has advanced greatly and accountability is much more rigid than earlier times. Reports of events are much more detailed now. For this reason Brian emphasises the practical advantage of keeping notes on every event attended. It bolsters one’s version if you have to take it to court.

Having reached retiring age, and having spent thirty years as a Prosecutor, Brian still believes that the Police Force is an excellent career.

For advice to anyone considering that career, he says that he found that if you treat people fairly, on their own level, and talk to them with common sense, it makes for better results. It usually worked for him.

His is an interesting story.

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