A police officer on the Sydney motorway has been found guilty of public misconduct after anonymously reporting that a colleague without a guard was at a primary school with a gun.
As a result of Chief Constable Ricky Wayne Colbron’s report that the subject was on school grounds and “may or may not be a police officer,” an urgent job was broadcast on police radio.
Prosecutors said Colbron knew the identity of his freelance colleague who had never left his car while he waited for school to finish.
On Friday, Judge Erin Kennedy of the Sydney Colbron found guilty of making a false statement, which resulted in a police investigation.
She gave the man in his early 30s a 12-month conditional release, but he was not convicted.
The radio call drew several officers in the direction of Malabar Elementary School until an attentive local police officer recognized the description.
While the job was downgraded in a matter of minutes, armed plainclothes officers approached the free colleague’s car, which raised its hands in the air.
The incident took place while there were families waiting for children after school.
At the hearing, a chief inspector heard an investigation into the call.
“(I found it awful) a person would try to set up his work colleague,” said Chief Inspector Paul Fownes.
He did not inquire into the officer’s carrying of the weapon and said he was “quite comfortable” with the officer’s behavior, which at the time was authorized to take his weapon home.
The referee played a tape of the tip-off call from Colbron.
“I’m sending an urgent job if it’s not a police officer,” the operator told the unidentified Colbron.
“Ah okay,” he replied.
Colbron’s lawyers argued that everything in the call seemed to be true, and tried to suggest that the carrying of the weapon could be a misdemeanor.
The hearing was told that Colbron received advice from two officers, including one in the force’s internal investigation unit, that the police assistance line was a method of anonymously reporting possible police misconduct.