Police management

Kate Vanderlaan_cropped
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Kate Vanderlaan APM
Deputy Commissioner, Operations

Deputy Commissioner Kate Vanderlaan grew up in Nhulunbuy and attended school there as well as Darwin High. She then attended the University of New England and James Cook University in Townsville before returning to the Northern Territory.

Kate joined the Northern Territory Police Force in February 1979 and was attached to the Traffic Section in Darwin for five years. She then served periods in General Duties, Prosecutions and the College. In 1988 Kate transferred to Katherine and then Alice Springs before returning to Darwin in 1993. Here she served in the positions of Recruitment, Watch Commander and as the Commissioner's Support Officer. This was followed by another tour of duty in Alice Springs in the Southern Crime Division and then a transfer to Katherine as Divisional Officer.

In April 2003 Deputy Commissioner Vanderlaan took over as Commander, Central Region, a position she was formally appointed to in August 2003. In April 2006 Deputy Commissioner Vanderlaan transferred to Darwin, responsible for the Greater Darwin Region and then took up roles in the Professional Standards Command, Traffic and Operational Services Command. In 2013 Deputy Commissioner Vanderlaan transferred back to Alice Springs as Commander Southern Command. In November 2015 Deputy Commissioner Vanderlaan acted as Assistant Commissioner Crime until taking up her current role as Deputy Commissioner Operations in December 2016.

Deputy Commissioner Vanderlaan has a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Arts (History and English), Master of Public Policy and Administration, Graduate Certificate in Applied Management and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She attended the Management of Serious Crime course and completed the Police Management Development Program.

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Grant Nicholls
Deputy Commissioner, Capability and Specialist Services

Deputy Commissioner Grant Nicholls was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police on 12 December 2016. He commenced service in the Northern Territory Police Force in June 2016, from New Zealand, to oversee the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Capability Audit.

His service in the New Zealand Police began in 1985 and includes positions in several districts, criminal investigations, general duties, and urban and rural policing. He has held the positions of Acting Deputy Commissioner for District Operations; Acting Deputy Commissioner for Resource Management; National Operations and Deputy Commissioner Operations; and Assistant Commissioner positions covering Strategy, Policy and Performance, Specialist Operations; and District Commander for the Eastern Police District of New Zealand.

He has been involved in a number of major operations and criminal investigations as Response Coordinator, Officer in Charge, and Incident Controller. He was deployed to Thailand as a Contingent Commander after the 2004 tsunami, for which he was awarded a Special Services Medal. He has also served in Glasgow and Timor Leste, and has observed policing in the USA and Canada.

He is the holder of Masters Degrees in Public Policy and Administration and Management, a Graduate Diploma in Emergency Services Management, a Diploma in Business Studies, Advanced Certificate in Terrorism Studies, and is a qualified Detective.

He has also held the honorary rank of Colonel Commandant of the Corps of the Royal New Zealand Military Police.

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Lance Godwin APM
Assistant Commissioner - Northern Operations

Assistant Commissioner Lance Godwin was born in Alice Springs and joined the Northern Territory Police Force in February 1987.

Lance transferred to Alice Springs in 1989 where he remained until 2011 minus a short stint in Darwin in 2000 and 2001. Whilst serving in Alice Springs he was stationed permanently at Papunya and Ntaria and undertook relief duties at various other remote localities.

Lance performed multiple roles at all ranks in Alice Springs and was promoted to Superintendent in 2007. Between 2008 and 2010 Lance was the Superintendent, Regional Investigations and in 2010 he undertook a secondment to the Department of Chief Minister where he worked on the Alice Springs Transformation Plan. 

In 2011 he returned to Police and was transferred to Darwin. He commenced in the Professional Standards Command in January 2012 as an Acting Commander and was promoted to the rank of Commander in February 2013.

Lance served in the Professional Standards Command until December, 2015 and commenced as an Acting Assistant Commissioner in February, 2015. He was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner in June 2015 and served within the Darwin Metropolitan Service Area until July, 2015. In August 2016 he commenced in his current role as the Assistant Commissioner, Northern Operations.

Lance has a Graduate Certificate in Applied Management, Advanced Diploma in Police Investigations and Diploma of Frontline Management He has successfully completed the Police Management Development Program (PDMP) and Northern Territory Police Leadership Development Program (LDP). Lance is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and Australia New Zealand Police Leadership Strategy (PLS) program. Lance was awarded the Australian Police Medal (APM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2017.

Lance remains an active member of the Northern Territory Basketball Community and currently coaches within the Darwin League Men competition. He has been recognised for his contribution to basketball at a local and national level and is a current board member of Basketball Northern Territory and past President of the Alice Springs Basketball Association.

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Michael Murphy
Assistant Commissioner - Crime

Assistant Commissioner Michael Murphy joined the Northern Territory Police Force in 1997 and has served in various roles across the Northern Territory within general duties and crime.

In 2008 Michael was appointed to Superintendent, in 2011 appointed to Commander, and in 2017 appointed to Assistant Commissioner.

Michael is a member of the Board of Management for Northern Territory Police Legacy.

Michael has been awarded the National Medal, the Northern Territory Police Service Medal and the Remote Service Ribbon. He has a Diploma in Public Safety, a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Strategic Management from Charles Darwin University and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Management from the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) and has completed the AIPM Australian New Zealand Police Leadership Strategy. He is currently studying toward a graduate diploma in executive leadership.

Peter Bravos
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Peter Bravos
Assistant Commissioner - People and Capability

Assistant Commissioner Peter Bravos joined the Northern Territory Police Force in 1998 having commenced his policing career with the Australian Federal Police.  He currently leads the People and Capability portfolio comprising the Professional Standards Command including the Special References Unit, the Professional Development Command, Human Resources Management with a focus on Tri Service Human Resources matters and the Indigenous employment, recruitment and selections Command.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and International Relations, a Diploma of Project Management, a Diploma of Policing, a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Strategic Management and an Advanced Certificate of Police Education.

Peter has successfully completed the Australian Federal Police Management of Serious Crime (MOSC) program, the Major Incident Management for Incident Controllers (MIMIC) course, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed the 2014 Australian Institute of Police Management’s, Australia and New Zealand Police Leadership Strategy (PLS).

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Daniel (Danny) Thomas Bacon
Acting Assistant Commissioner - Southern Command

Acting Assistant Commissioner Danny Bacon joined the Northern Territory Police Force on 9 February 1987 as a Police Cadet.  He was promoted the Commander position in Southern Command in July 2015 and is currently relieving in the Assistant Commissioners role.  His service has included a number of positions in General Duties, Investigations, Intelligence, Communications and Prosecutions. He has served in the major centres of in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs and remote localities of Kulgera, Yulara, Yuendumu and Timber Creek.

A secondment in 2001–2002 with the Australian Federal Police saw Danny serve overseas in East Timor as a Station Commander and Training Officer. He is a recipient of the Police Overseas Service Medal, National Police Medal, United Nations UNTAET Medal, Commissioners Outstanding Leadership Medal, a Commissioner’s Individual and Unit Commendation Medal and a Remote Service Ribbon.

Danny is a Graduate of Charles Darwin University, Charles Sturt University and the Hong Kong University.  He holds a Master’s Degree in International Management, Graduate Certificate in Applied Management (Policing), Graduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership & Management and a Graduate Certificate in Corruption Studies.

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Tony Fuller APM
Commander - Crime Support Command

Since joining the Northern Territory Police Force in 1986, Commander Tony Fuller has worked in metropolitan, regional and remote posts. He also served several times in the Drug and Organised Crime Division over his lengthy service. 

Commander Fuller holds a Bachelor of Policing – Investigations, graduate certificates in Applied Management, and Strategic Intelligence.

Among his career highlights are the seizure of 123 kilograms of heroin under Operation Calgary, establishing a Groote Eylandt and  Milyakburra Youth Development Unit, developing and implementing  the   Groote Eylandt and Milyakburra Liquor Management Plan; and Operation Samburu – the Carlie Sinclair case. Commander Fuller also holds the Australian Police Medal.

Commander Fuller held the position of Disaster Victim Identification Commander for the Northern Territory for nearly ten years. In that time he held the position of Deputy Chair and Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Police Advisory Agency Disaster Victim Identification Committee (ADVIC). As part of that role he represented Australia and New Zealand internationally on the Interpol DVI Committee.

In July 2015 he was promoted to Commander and in now in charge of Crime Support Command that includes, Forensics, Judicial Operations, Road Policing and Firearms Division.

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James J O'Brien SC
Commander - Professional Standards Command

Commander James J O’Brien SC joined the Northern Territory Police Force in 1995 and was first stationed in Katherine.  James undertook both General Duties, Crime Investigation and relieving duties at regional two member stations.

In 1998 James was transferred to the Adelaide River Police Station before being promoted in 2000 to Brevet Sergeant as the Officer in Charge of the Ngukurr Police station.  In 2003 James returned to Darwin where he was transferred to the Drug and Organised Crime Division where in 2006 was promoted to Detective Sergeant and was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Development Unit.  In 2007 James commenced relieving as the Officer in Charge of the Darwin Metropolitan Police Station and later as the Officer in Charge of the Drug Squad and Staff Officer to the Assistant Commissioner of Crime.

In 2010 James was tasked to form part of the working committee to commence the introduction of the first dedicated surveillance unit within the Northern Territory Police.  When this was completed James continued to perform Acting Senior Sergeant roles within the Major Crime Squad, Executive Services Division and Water Police sections.  James was promoted to Officer in Charge of the Water Police and then later in 2012 to Detective Superintendent, Crime Division.

James was promoted to the rank of Commander in June 2015 where he commenced as the Commander, Professional Standards Command.

During his service James has been awarded Commissioners Commendations and a Commissioners letter of recognition. In 2000 he was awarded the Star of Courage and the Northern Territory Police Valour medal. 

Bruce Porter APM
Commander - College Command

Commander Bruce Porter joined the Northern Territory Police Force in July 1989. He has extensive experience in all operational facets of policing throughout urban and remote Northern Territory including Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin. Commander Porter spent over 7 years in the Territory Response Group, in which he became a highly qualified Police Bomb Technician. Commander Porter has undertaken extensive frontline roles within the positions of Watch Commander, Territory Duty Superintendent, Divisional Superintendent and as Commander.. Additionally he spent 3 years within the Professional Standards Command having an intrinsic part of ensuring the integral and ethical health of the organisation.   Commander Porter as of August 2016 taken up the role of the Commander, College Command being responsible for the recruitment, training, deployment and ongoing development primarily sworn staff for the organisation. 

Commander Porter has planned and coordinated numerous high profile operations, including New Year’s Eve celebrations, football matches, demonstrations, the Asia Pacific Economies Co-operation (APEC) 2000 Trade Ministers Forum (involving 350 delegates) and the 2005 Arafura Games. Some highlights include being appointed as the Bomb Scene Coordinator for various National Counter Terrorism exercises, the Accommodation Security Commander for the APEC Energy Ministers’ Forum in 2007 and as a Bomb Technician on the security team for the 2000 Sydney Olympics in which he received an Olympic Citation. During 2015 and 2016 Commander Porter was the Regional Controller and responsible for the emergency management of significant emergency events including Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Lam and STC Nathan in which both battered the NT coast in February and March respectively, causing significant infrastructure damage and risk to the lives of community members, and the 2015/2016 Christmas and New Year Daly River floods having the 4th and 6th highest peaks on known record.  All the emergency events included evacuation of communities and the set-up of evacuation centres.

Commander Porter was promoted to the ranks of Sergeant in 2000, Senior Sergeant in 2002, Superintendent in 2007 and to Commander in 2014.

Career achievements include receiving a Commissioner's Commendation in 1996 for conspicuous duty during a shooting incident in Palmerston where four (4) Police Officers and a civilian were shot; and receiving other letters of Appreciation and Recognition from the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners for duties performed. Commander Porter is a recipient of numerous medals and ribbons highlights of which include the Commissioner's Outstanding Leadership Medal and the Australian Police Medal (APM) awarded during the Australia Day Honours in January 2015.

David Proctor
Commander - Specialist Services Command

Commander David Proctor joined the Northern Territory Police Force in 1987 and has served in locations throughout the Northern Territory including Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Harts Range, Kalkaringi and Borroloola both in General Duties policing and as a Detective.

Career highlights include his service in remote stations, his involvement in successful major criminal investigations as the Officer in Charge, Alice Springs CIB and the  Officer in Charge, Major Crime Section, his attendance at the Australian Federal Police Management of Serious Crime (MOSC) Program as the first visiting fellow from the Northern Territory and his role in improving Northern Territory Counter Terrorism Capabilities through obtaining equipment such as the ‘Bearcat’  armoured rescue vehicle for the Territory Response Group.

David was promoted to Superintendent in 2006 and has worked across a range of areas including Staff Officer to the Assistant Commissioner, Crime Support Services; and Superintendent, Counter Terrorism, Security & Co-ordination Division. He has also performed duties as an Acting Commander in the  Crime & Specialist Support Command, Ethical & Professional Standards Command and Northern Command.

David has a number of tertiary qualifications including a Masters of Leadership and Management, a Master of Arts (Terrorism, Safety and Security), a Graduate Diploma in Policing Practice and a Bachelor of Policing (Investigations).  He is also a graduate of the Police Management Development Program conducted by the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) and the Management of Serious Crime (MOSC) Program conducted by the Australian Federal Police.

David served as the Commander Northern Command prior to taking up his new position as Commander Specialist Services Command.