Take A Look Inside QCS officer profile

Luke, Dog Handler, Townsville Correctional Complex, Queensland Corrective Services

Luke plays a pivotal role in community safety with the help of his four-legged friends in the Dog Squad at the Townsville Correctional Complex (TCC).

“My main goal when I step through the doors at TCC is to ensure the safe return home of my colleagues at the end of their shifts,” Luke said.

Luke has been a Dog Handler at Queensland Corrective Services since 2007. He works closely with Ernie, his Passive Alert Drug Detection (PADD) dog, and Diesel and Athena, his General Purpose (GP) dogs, who enhance the security of the centres and the broader community. Diesel will retire soon and Athena is already learning the ropes, following completion of her training in Brisbane recently.

PADD dog Ernie assists in the detection and prevention of illicit substances coming into the centre and GP dogs Diesel and Athena provide an improved level of safety and security, which helps keep officers safe while doing their jobs.

Luke joined QCS in 2004 and has held various positions, including Activities Officer, Custodial Correctional Officer, Emergency Response Team Leader and Correctional Dog Handler.

“I completed my 12-week Dog Handler course in October 2007 with my first PADD dog ‘Floyd’, and have been in this role ever since,” Luke said.

“QCS dogs play an important role in a correctional environment by supporting our officers through some of the many challenges they face, the most notable being safety, but also helping to keep contraband out of centres and assisting in the de-escalation of hostile situations.

“Being a Dog Handler is a very rewarding role and we become deeply attached to them as they also live with us at our home and become members of our family.”

Among Luke’s many hats that he wears at work, he is also the coordinator of the highly trained Emergency Response Team (CERT).

“The risk of officer injury is real when managing prisoners in a challenging environment but I try and make a difference through mentoring, instructing and coaching both new and experienced officers.

“A strong focus is placed on emergency drills, use of force options and procedures, and our most valuable tool, Tactical Communication, an approach which has the ability to resolve or de-escalate a situation without the need for force, which ultimately reduces the risk of injury to officers and prisoners.

Born in Townsville, Luke’s father was in the Royal Australian Air Force, so his family moved around but they relocated to Townsville when Luke was 13.

Before Luke joined QCS, he worked in the printing industry for several years before joining the public sector to embrace the opportunities it offered for personal growth and career development.

When Luke isn’t protecting the community, he plays masters rugby league with the Townsville Chiefs with some of his QCS colleagues and community members who raise money for local charities through fundraising efforts with their community based games.

Luke is the father of three teenage daughters and also enjoys family time, camping, fishing and playing touch football in his spare time.

“If you’re looking for a career that offers excellent work life balance and endless career opportunities, joining QCS might just be for you.

“If you already have some life skills, such as flexibility, good communication skills and a common sense approach and you treat people how you would like to be treated, look no further than QCS. You won’t look back,” Luke said.

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