Frame game copped it all

Crime­buster says farewell to the force


AF­TER al­most 41 years as a cop, it’s an armed rob­bery that is “one of the sad­dest” cases Glenn Frame ever worked on.

The As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner, who hung up his uni­form and hat on Thurs­day, was part of the Port Arthur mas­sacre task­force which in­ter­viewed the sur­vivors, and he was op­er­a­tions com­man­der on the night of the Du­nal­ley bush­fires.

But in an in­ter­view with the Mer­cury this week, Mr Frame re­vealed it was the armed rob­bery com­mit­ted by two boys, aged eight and six, that con­tin­ued to pull at his heart­strings.

“They took their two-yearold brother with them,” Mr Frame said, chok­ing back tears. “Their mother had left them, their fa­ther had found an­other girl­friend and they hadn’t eaten for three days, so at 3am they went to a ser­vice sta­tion armed with a knife. It was the only way they thought they could get some money for food.

“When they were asked about why they took the twoyear-old, they said ‘we’re look­ing af­ter him’. It was one of the sad­dest sto­ries I’ve ever dealt with. Those kids had no hope and it wasn’t their fault.”

Mr Frame, 57, signed up to the force as a cadet in 1978, aged 16, and con­tin­ued to rise through the ranks be­fore be­ing named As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner in May 2016.

While in that job, he fo­cused on tar­get­ing vol­ume crime and was the driv­ing force be­hind the new an­tibikie laws.

“I still re­mem­ber my first day at the academy,” he said. “I’d cut about three inches off the back of my mul­let, think­ing that might suf­fice, and when I got down there they gave me a crew cut. I had no idea what I was in for but I don’t re­gret the de­ci­sion one lit­tle bit. To quote a col­league, I’m not sure I’ll miss the cir­cus but I’ll miss the clowns.”

Depart­ment of Po­lice, Fire and Emer­gency Man­age­ment sec­re­tary Donna Adams, who was pro­moted to com­man­der with Mr Frame in 2008, said he would al­ways be a po­lice of­fi­cer to the core.

“He’s so pas­sion­ate about polic­ing and help­ing peo­ple to achieve their best,” she said.

“Only a cou­ple of years ago, on our way from Ho­bart to a meet­ing in Burnie, he pulled over a car for dan­ger­ous driv­ing. We didn’t have a ra­dio, safety wear or ac­cou­trements but be­tween us we man­aged to get our­selves in­volved in a foot chase and ar­rest a sig­nif­i­cant drug traf­ficker.

“That’s pretty un­usual for a cou­ple of as­sis­tant com­mis­sion­ers from head­quar­ters.”

Mr Frame said the key to a suc­cess­ful ca­reer was not get­ting car­ried away with your own im­por­tance.

“You’re not bet­ter than the per­son you’re putting in the cells, you’ve just made some bet­ter choices,” he said.

“When I started we re­ally re­lied on en­forc­ing the law and do­ing so with a heavy hand, whereas now, our peo­ple are com­pas­sion­ate, em­pa­thetic and look af­ter those who can’t look af­ter them­selves.”

De­spite say­ing Tas­ma­nia is safer than ever, Mr Frame wants the com­mu­nity to turn their at­ten­tion to­wards help­ing dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren and those suf­fer­ing with men­tal ill­ness. The tal­ented sports­man took un­paid leave from the squad in 1999 and 2000 to take on the head coach­ing po­si­tion at the Tassie Mariners foot­ball club. It was not be­cause he was sick of polic­ing, but be­cause he saw an op­por­tu­nity to in­flu­ence the lives of young men in a pos­i­tive way.

Bris­bane Li­ons coach Chris Fa­gan, who coached the Mariners from 1995 to 1997 with the as­sis­tance of Mr Frame, told the Mer­cury he would de­scribe “Framey” as a per­son of “very high in­tegrity”.

“He was very ded­i­cated to bring­ing out the best in the play­ers and was very loyal to me,” Fa­gan said.

“He was ter­rific to have on the coach­ing staff as he was al­ways hon­est and driven. It was never about him; he did ev­ery­thing he could to en­cour­age and help the play­ers.”

Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion of Tas­ma­nia as­sis­tant sec­re­tary An­drew Ben­nett said Mr Frame of­ten used his coach­ing skills to sell his vi­sion to all ranks within Tas­ma­nia Po­lice, gov­ern­ment, other ju­ris­dic­tions and the com­mu­nity.

“Glenn’s legacy and most mem­o­rable at­tribute is his abil- ity to ef­fect change and com­mu­ni­cate a com­plex mes­sage to all lev­els in sim­ple, un­com­pli­cated terms,” Mr Ben­nett said. “As a coach of foot­ball he would say ‘play the man, make them ac­count­able’. As a se­nior leader of Tas­ma­nia Po­lice his mes­sage was sim­ple: ‘hold the crim­i­nals to ac­count’.”

Mr Frame, who has three sons and two grand­chil­dren, will take on re­tire­ment like he did his ca­reer: head-on and with­out any re­grets. He has al­ready left for Queens­land, where he plans to live for seven months of the year, play­ing golf and spend­ing valu­able time with his wife Wendy.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to do things when I want to do them,” he said.

“I will have to get used to no longer hav­ing a strict struc­ture but I won’t be sit­ting in front of the TV watch­ing Net­flix for 16 hours a day — I’ll still be very ac­tive.”

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