Monday, July 11, 2011

Cop of the Year arrested for drink-driving

THE Gold Coast's Police Officer of the Year has been arrested for drink-driving and faces a court date as well as possible disciplinary action.

Senior Constable Michael Froggatt was nabbed while off-duty and in a private vehicle in Surfers Paradise about 5am on Sunday after working a night-shift. The 34-year-old officer was breath-tested by colleagues and allegedly recorded a blood alcohol concentration of .085 per cent. He was given a notice to appear in Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday. A police spokeswoman said disciplinary action was also being considered.

Sen-Const Froggatt is a detective, now working in uniform in Surfers Paradise, who has worked on some of the Gold Coast's biggest criminal cases. He has also been undertaking a criminology degree part-time at Bond University where he serves as a 'campus cop', giving students crime and public safety advice.

Last August, Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson presented Sen-Const Froggatt with the Rotary Gold Coast Police Officer of the Year award for efforts including implementing a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. His reign is due to end next month.

After a spate of police were caught drink-driving, Mr Atkinson last year introduced tougher discIplinary penalties for his officers, including dismissal for high-range blood alcohol readings above .15 per cent cent.

However, a Sunshine Coast officer who was sacked after blowing .235 per cent successfully challenged his dismissal in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal which ordered his reinstatement.

Last month, Mr Atkinson said random drug and alcohol testing for Queensland police was 'inevitable'. This followed a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation into Gold Coast police taking drugs and drinking free alcohol in nightclubs.


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