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.”