In the current world climate, there is no more important posting in police than heading up the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command.
And from November 4, Dubbo’s Michael Willing will have that posting.
The former Detective Superintendent and Commander of the Homicide Squad will step into the role being vacated by Mark Murdoch, and he admits he is excited by the challenge.
Promoted to Assistant Commissioner by Commissioner Mick Fuller, Asst Comm Willing will lead a team aimed at keeping the residents of NSW safe from attacks like those seen in various parts of the world in recent times.
“Terrorism is something I have always been intrigued by,” Asst Comm Willing said.
“It’s something that is evolving all the time unfortunately. You look back to an event like September 11 which was an orchestrated plot carried out by a group of people and compare that to recent attacks in Europe which have been random and carried out by individuals and you see how the dynamic of terrorism has changed.
“It’s our job to stay at the forefront of what is happening, and we will do that by having good people working hard in the counter terrorism unit, and working with other agencies in Australia and around the world to share and relay information.
“I don’t pretend it is going to be easy. As we’ve seen things can happen anywhere and at any time but I see this as being a role that is as much about rural and regional NSW as it is about Sydney.
“Things like the theft of farm chemicals or firearms can be something of interest to us, and we saw recently with some raids in a rural area that this isn’t necessarily just a city-centric phenomenon.”
As for his feelings about leaving a posting that saw him oversee the capture of Malcolm Naden, and lead investigations into the Quakers Hill nursing home fire and the Lindt cafe siege, Asst Comm Willing said it was time.
“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in homicide during my time there but I believe there comes a time when the staff need to hear a different message from a different voice, and I think we’d reached that stage,” he said