A review of the 2019-20 bushfire season is on the agenda for former ACT Chief Police Officer Ray Johnson when he moves into a newly created position as Deputy Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency on 18 May. Getty Images.

ACT Chief Police Officer (CPO) Ray Johnson is changing roles, moving into a newly created position as Deputy Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA).

In the role, he will lead the review of the 2019-20 bushfire season which will evaluate the effectiveness of ESA’s operational response, as well as recommend opportunities and strategies to prepare for and respond to emergencies in the future.

ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentlemen, said the role will also support the ESA Commissioner, and work collaboratively across the ACT Government and with community partners.

“In addition, the Deputy Commissioner will be responsible for ESA capability and ensuring members of the emergency services and volunteers are properly equipped, trained and prepared for their work protecting the community.”

CPO Johnson said the role provides an opportunity to continue to serve Canberra’s community.

“My commitment has always been to building a safer community and supporting people in their time of need,” he said.

With CPO Johnson moving to the ESA, Australian Federal Police (AFP) Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan has been appointed as the new ACT CPO.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said Deputy Commissioner Gaughan had “the right combination of skills and experience to ensure ACT Policing continues to provide excellent service to the Canberra community”.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Gaughan said he was pleased to be taking on the role of CPO and leading ACT Policing’s COVID-19 response in the coming months.

“I feel very privileged to return to community policing at a time of change as ACT Policing modernises its service and tackles crime more proactively as part of the Police Services Model,” he said.

“After spending half my AFP career with ACT Policing in general duties and investigative roles, I am focused on working with government and community partners to continue to address recidivist offending and the impact of road trauma.”

CPO Johnson will begin at the ESA on 18 May while Deputy Commissioner Gaughan will also start in his role on the same day.

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