Anger at naming police ‘heroes’
THE state's peak homicide victim counselling group has condemned the decision by national media outlets to reveal the identities of the two officers who shot and killed a machete-wielding man in Coolum last week.
The Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group described the naming of the two officers as a "major error".
The officers - one a 10-year veteran and the other a first-year constable - were confronted by Anthony Young shortly after he had killed his brother Dave Young and partner Louise Dekens.
The older officer is believed to have shot Young at virtually point-blank range after being left with no choice.
General manager of the support group, Ross Thompson, said the horrific incident would be something the two officers would keep close to their chests.
Having their names prematurely made public would be detrimental to their healing process.
"This is not good. What a major error," Mr Thompson said.
"Mainly because not everyone loves the police and if there are people out there who don't agree with what they did and don't see them as heroes, they now know their names.
"This is now something they can no longer keep personal and in-house.
"It is in the public eye and every one around them will be putting the pressure on."
Mr Thompson's Sunshine Coast-based team has been working with the families of Louise Dekens and Dave Young, including their 12-year-old daughter, who is believed to have witnessed the tragedy on Wednesday night.
According to reports, Mr Young came at the officers while brandishing a knife in one hand and a machete in the other.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey played down the impact of the officers' names being made public, saying it was inevitable they would eventually make it into the public domain.
"Every officer involved in the case has been offered counselling in addition to receiving extensive support from the Police Union and the Queensland Police Service," he said.
There were mixed feelings on the streets of Coolum, although most agreed the officers were heroes.
"I think what they (other media) have done identifying the police was very bad," one woman said.
"It's a low blow. The police officers should have been given more time to focus on themselves before all this," another said.
The Queensland Police Union said it would be inappropriate to comment as the matter was being investigated by the Coroner and the Ethical Standards Command.
"The Police Union has and is continuing to give our full support to both the officers directly involved as well as their colleagues at Coolum, and that the Police Union agrees with the Police Commissioner in his analysis that on the information he has, police acted appropriately," president Ian Leavers said.
Attempts to contact Police Commissioner Ian Stewart were unsuccessful.