Top honour for former Ipswich detective
IF KEN Martin had his way, every volunteer and paid staff member of Crime Stoppers would have received the same recognition he did this week.
The retired detective and former long-serving Queensland Delegate for Crime Stoppers has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division (AM) for his decades of contributions to fighting crime.
Starting his police career in 1961, Mr Martin served as a detective on his way to becoming Chief Superintendent in 1992.
After retiring from the service in 94, he spent 10 years in the security department for the Conrad Treasury Casino, working on multi-million dollar fraud cases.
It didn't end there. In 2004, Mr Martin was asked to take the reins of an under-performing Crime Stoppers and turn it all around.
"Bob Atkinson (then commissioner) asked me to take over the role of chairman in 2004," Mr Martin said.
"It was a run down organisation at that point, with only three members on the board who were pulling in different directions.
"It took a while to rebuild, but we achieved it by selecting board members that brought special attributes in finance, planning and general organisation.
"One of our best achievements was getting Trevor O'Hara on as CEO. We went from rowing around in a circle when I first joined, to rowing with fours, and then once Trevor O'Hara came on board, we were like a speed boat."
To Mr Martin's dismay, the Crime Stoppers call centre folded on April 5, with calls redirected to the Brisbane police call centre at Toombul.
He said he believed the closure of the dedicated Crime Stoppers call centre would negatively affect productivity, but that it was a speed bump that the organisation would eventually overcome.
"Our Crime Stoppers committees are still out there raising funds for the rewards system, and planning campaigns for their regions," he said.
"In Ipswich, Sergeant Nadine Webster is the co-ordinator and does a wonderful job."
Not one to rest on his laurels, Mr Martin plans to continue his current role as secretary and treasurer of the Ipswich Branch of the Retired Police Association, despite his ripe old age of 81.
"I drive my wife mad," he said. "I am always on the computer."
He and wife Margaret have been married for 61 years and boast 11 great-grandchildren.