Safe City operators awarded for potentially life-saving action

Assistant Commissioner, Qld Police Service, Mike Condon, Safe City operators Kerry Steven and Mick Boyes, Inspector Melissa Adams.

When Ipswich Safe City operators Mick Boyes and Kerry Steven noticed a car parked at Redbank Plaza on a Monday morning earlier this year something did not feel right.

It was 7.17am and the car parked in an usual spot, at the northern end of the plaza.

The operators noticed a man and woman acting suspiciously in and around the car, which had stolen number plates.

Mr Boyes and Mr Steven wasted no time in contacting Ipswich Police Communications Centre.

As a result of their actions, local police and specialist officers from the Explosives Ordinates Response Team (EORT) attended and upon searching the suspect vehicle, found two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The devices were dismantled and rendered safe by officers from EORT.

The two people were later charged with 24 offences including manufacturing and possessing explosives, drug offences and several traffic offences.

Now, the two operators have been honoured with a Queensland Police District Officers Certificate.

Acting Superintendent Keith McDonald said the certificate, which is usually only awarded to police, was in recognition of the operators’ diligence and attention to detail in identifying suspect persons and potentially saving lives.

Ipswich City Council’s Safe City camera network began operations in 1994 with 11 cameras in the city’s CBD and has since grown to more than 300 cameras across the city.

The Ipswich Safe City network is recognised internationally as a benchmark, with council previously visited by law enforcement agencies internationally to inspect Ipswich’s camera monitoring system.

Police from three states in Australia and 25 local authorities have also visited the facility.

Safe City about more than cameras

In 2015, Safe City became its own branch in council under the Health, Security and Regulatory Services Department.

Safe City now not only looks after the more than 300 public safety cameras but also another 300 council security cameras, access control (all keys, swipe cards, locks) and intruder alarms systems for nearly 100 council buildings.

Safe City is also responsible for fire and emergency evacuation training for employees as well as maintenance of emergency infrastructure, in addition to security responses 24/7 to council premises.

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