Councillor Glen Hartwig reveals the harrowing story behind his departure from the police force.
Councillor Glen Hartwig reveals the harrowing story behind his departure from the police force. Tom Daunt

'My head was next to his when he pulled the trigger'

IT IS disappointing to hear that there has already been a public attempt to smear my reputation.

I have dealt with this internally in council for three years but I did not think that some would stoop to such low levels.

For those that have been told that I "left the Police Service in very cloudy circumstances" I want to inform you that those statements are a disgraceful act that attacks service men and women who have suffered PTSD.

I was medically retired.

No clouds, just the scars of public service.

 

Your story.
Your story. roxanabalint

The facts are that during the year of 1996 I attended a job at Bli Bli.

It was a domestic incident where a male had taken his partner hostage in the toilet of the premises.

The male was seated on the toilet with his de facto on his lap.

He had a knife to her throat and held a paring knife in his other hand.

When his de facto attempted to grab the knife at her throat he stabbed her in the chest with the other knife and when she grabbed the knife at her chest he attempted to cut her throat.

 

Cr Hartwig in chambers.
Cr Hartwig in chambers. Tom Daunt

After sometime a struggle developed where we were able to get the female out alive.

The male in question fell to the floor.

I reached down to pull his arms from under his body to enable hand cuffs to be applied.

Due to the nature of his position and the positioning of his hands it was necessary to bring my head down close to his, some 6 inches apart.

As I went to locate an arm I heard a gun shot.

During the struggle the firearm of another officer had been dislodged and was in the control of the said male.

He had put it to his head and discharged the firearm whilst my head was next to his.

 

Police tape.
Police tape. News Regional Media

I suffered no physical injury but as the months progressed I noticed that I had changed.

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I used to be the officer who attended most autopsies as I was stationed at Nambour.

Prior to this event I was comfortable in this environment, however, after this event I could no longer attend without experiencing nausea and vomiting.

The long and the short was that after seeking professional assistance I was medically retired from the Qld Police Service.

To this day I still bear the scars.

At that time in history mental injury was not accepted in the community due to the stigma created by heartless individuals.

For years I did not tell anyone about this as I was embarrassed and a little ashamed that for some reason this event affected me.

It is only in the last five years that I have become more comfortable with it and am now due to the heartless actions of some I have to discuss it.

It appalls me that I am required to defend my service history because of what has been said.

Issues that I raise relate to principles, governance and appropriate action for council.

Am I being made fun of because I had this injury?

An injury that many police and military personal suffer.

Or is there an attempt at casting a shadow over my time as a police officer?

 

Glen Hartwig.
Glen Hartwig. Tom Daunt

Both are disgraceful. This incident has had a significant impact on my life and it is disgraceful that it would be used as a lever for criticism. I was serving the community.

The letter is not about gaining your sympathy.

My experience in the QPS has been dealt with privately with close family and friends.

However, this action has forced me to address the culture in council head on.

I believe it is a serious issue in our council that needs to be addressed.

Another reason why I will stand for election as Mayor.

If elected to lead the region I would work to unite the fractures in the community.

I believe the greatest asset this region has is the people. It's time to bring the region together, not divide and conquer.

I have a plan for the region, a vision for growth, jobs, jobs and more jobs but most importantly a vision that doesn't involve dividing and separating the community.

It's a vision where all people are treated equally with respect and dignity even when we may not agree.

Gympie Times


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