An open letter to the QPS – by Sgt Rick Flori

“Look what you made me do”

2 November 2017

Dear Mr Commissioner,

I wanted to acknowledge the sense of purpose I felt many times over the 28 years that I served within the Qld Police Service. I have always prided myself as an officer that joined the Police Service (or back then Police Force), for the right reasons. I carried a desire to be part of what I saw as a collective group of people, that for the most part, were focused on bettering the well being and safety of the community.

Over the span of my long career, I have seen four Police Commissioners lead the organisation. It has been incredibly disappointing to see the gradual slippage from the early 1990’s to today. It has become increasingly apparent that the morale in the service is declining to such an extent that it is impacting the way crime is managed, reported, and investigated.

Although there are very hard working officers both Men and Women, who believe in what they are doing, there are those in some quarters whose behaviour and methodologies impact significantly on the way business is conducted, particularly behind closed doors.

In fact throughout my employment I have, along with the public, repeatedly heard words such as transparency, accountability, openness and honesty. This includes leaders constantly citing having ‘great faith in the checks and balances that are in place’, however I am of the personal and educated view that these are important words, that carry significant weight and they are becoming nothing more than rehearsed rhetoric.

In the later years of my lengthy commitment to the Service, it could only be described as swimming against a tide in order to honour my duty to serve and protect the community. At no point when I signed up, did I think I would have to protect the community from police themselves. An organisation that has the resources to crush anyone that dare challenge their behaviour.

When I was operating within my own sphere, I could maintain appropriate standards of conduct, not only for myself but for those under my immediate command and within community expectations.

I found reporting misconduct not only impossible, but the retaliations when doing so unbearable. As you well know, I was forced to commence proceedings against Senior and Executive Officers for committing reprisals against me. There are provisions in place that mean by law I should be protected from any such retaliation once I have made a public interest disclosure, particularly one accepted by the Ethical Standards Command the then Crime and Misconduct Commission.

On one occasion I was even threatened with a firearm, I was again afforded no protection, the irony that followed of course was that same officer became embroiled in allegations of shooting at a vehicle, no doubt costing the public purse thousands of dollars. Had my early complaint not fallen on the usual deaf ears, the subsequent event which could have easily lead to a death, may have been avoided.

I have witnessed more time, effort and money being directed toward covering up various indiscretions, rather than it being utilised to correct poor culture and break the cycle of the irresponsible use of power and resources. Such powers and resources that the community entrust to your keeping.  Naturally, we are all human and make mistakes along the way, but it takes a solid leader with good leadership skills to instil a corrective and positive ethos into the men and women who serve our community when those mistakes are made, either deliberate or otherwise.

Strong Leadership is desired by all within the police organisation and always produces great results despite any initial resistance if the intention of those in leadership is actually in alignment with the values they promote.

Never in my 28 years as an officer have I seen such poor morale amongst the frontline officers and such disappointment from members of the community about the decisions being made that are clearly not in the public interest or expectations. This includes the recent situation with the misuse of QPRIME of which I was also a victim. I brought this forward in 2012. There has been and continues to be no consistency with corrective actions taken by the service whether that be charging officers criminally or in the disciplinary arena.  Right to Information processes have now been modified resulting in dozens of rejected applications for people seeking copies of their own files. This notion goes against openness, honesty and transparency as expected by the community from the QPS and the government of the day.

There have been allegations reported in the media of mishandling of domestic violence matters, manipulation of crime statistics, nepotism, cronyism, tampering with evidence by police, (then producing that evidence to a criminal court) and complaints of brutality against members of the public.  These are just a few circumstances where victims have been forced into the civil arena to seek justice because the self regulation of police is simply not effective.  We have even heard more recently allegations of perjury by a senior officer sent to the Gold Coast to clean up the poor culture.

After careful consideration, it is my position that I have lost faith in any change of culture occurring in the near future and have no confidence in the current management of the Queensland Police Service. It has been recently reported that we have returned to the Pre Fitzgerald era, which is ironic given my first weeks in the police academy included officers from the previous intake to me being sent to the basement of Police Headquarters to shred thousands of documents around the time of the coercive hearings.  I was so young at the time, I was naive and unaware of the significance of what they were doing.

It appears I have done the full circle and there is little point to continue in a cycle that is not only unhealthy for me but also my family. I have always been passionate about serving the community and I look forward to being able to do so without having my hands tied.

I am proud of the person I have become and standby my convictions. The torment by the Queensland Police Service for almost six years has left me with no other choice but to pursue other opportunities to serve the community knowing I am doing the right thing by disconnecting from something that is not at all in alignment with my own personal values as a human being.

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from the Queensland Police Service effective immediately.


Rick Flori

Former Sergeant


  1. Pam Templeton

    Congratulations Mr Rick Flori Nice to see an honest policeman come forward (ex policeman) What a shame that there are not more honest people like you that are not afraid to speak up and tell the truth in the force.
    You have done the right thing !! And we wish you well in the near future

  2. April Adsett

    You have my respect and admiration for the stand you have taken and your continued ethical behaviour. If I could vote in your electorate I would be there! Best of luck and stay safe

  3. Robyn Burton

    I admire your integrity and sincerity. I not only hope the best for you but also hope a man of your calibre can assist the community to achieve results that reflect your good intentions and your experience. Best wishes i will be watching your journey and cheering you on, x

  4. Donald Winsor

    Good on you mate. You are the first QPS officer (former officer) that has said anything besides deflect and make excuses for the inappropriate behaviour that even the most law abiding citizens have seen increasingly over the last 20 or so years. Don’t give up the fight. I will stand with you.

    • W.L.

      Whistle blowers are heroes.

      I know of a witnessed, videoed &(reported to the C.C.C.) torture & attempted murder of a disability pensioner, by 2 QPS officer’s.
      Dated 2013. Gold-coast region.

      The out come//?// ‘the officers have been retrained in there use of force’. ‘No further will be taken’.

  5. kathryn potter

    OMG Rick reading your letter of resignation not only gave me goose bumps but brought tears to my eyes to think of all the rubbish and trouble you have been through with the QPS and the stigma attached to that place. It is a very sad day when the Police Service are loosing good, worthwhile men like yourself because they are too gutless and spineless to admit defeat. So pleased to see that you have stood up to them, stood your ground and made such a wonderful life changing decision. Good luck and just remember that you have a wonderful support team with all your friends and supporters. Best wishes and you will always have my support. xx

  6. Jennifer Robson

    After reading your letter of resignation Rick Flori I wasn’t surprised🤔 it has been far too long that you have put up with disrespectful behaviour from a department in Government that you joined to help bring about justice for us the public,yet in your years of service in the QPS you witnessed injustices committed by those fellow officers that did not belong in the QPS that the right punishments for those fellow officers should have been applied & taken more seriously by Senior police officers?The fact that I have noticed is that there are not too many of those fellow officers that dare to speak out about what you Rick have been courageous to do for fear of losing their jobs & not having an income that you lost after standing up for true justice & people who have had been affected by abuse from certain police officers in the state of QLD.I’am disappointed in anyone out there that hasn’t supported you Rick Flori because it shows how gutless & how afraid of the QPS they really are🤔which is why MP ROB Pyne is correct in mentioning the importance of protecting whistle blowers from the lawless behaviour that surfaces when the truth is revealed against those who need to be weeded out of government departments such as the QPS & this should have happened a long time ago it is appalling that the state government haven’t implemented this due to the way you & your family have been treated over these last 5 years & many others that have spoken out about bullying because of injustices within the QPS?My constant 🙏 have got me through soo much in life & I’m sure it will be the same for you too Rick Flori because I admire your courage👍

  7. Gary Ricardo

    I think your an example of what the police force could and should be I think the way you were treated was discusting and bordering on criminal I hope you tackle politics with the same honesty and thank you rick Flori for taking a stand against the decay in our constabulary

  8. Steve Cashman

    That is a brilliant resignation letter, everything is spelled out correctly & truthfully & I wish you the best for your future in politics. I think though, if the opportunity arose you should take charge of the police department as Commissioner. We have been fortunate here in WA to have had Carl O’Callaghan in charge for many years as he managed to break a corrupt line in the force as he was like you, honest & not afraid to get things done. In my group of friends I have many that are in the police force, with most holding higher rank. These friends I trust implicitly & know they are there for the betterment of the general public & to do their jobs as expected. I was a senior manager in one of the largest security companies here & had to work in closely with the police in the comportment of my job. I can say that I never heard of bullying, threats or anything of the like, but only trust & duty by the people on the force towards their senior staff. Hopefully in your new position you will be able to make changes to the QPS, because from what has happened to you, over the last 6 Year’s tells me that the upper echelon of the service is corrupt. I like the Gold Coast area as I visit it often, my brother lives in Carrara, clean it up. Cheers.

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