Public cast their vote for Flori as top officer
THE sergeant accused of leaking video footage of his colleagues bashing a handcuffed prisoner in the basement of the Surfers Paradise police station has received a record flood of nominations for the Gold Coast police officer of the year award.
Sergeant Rick Flori faces seven years’ jail if found guilty of misconduct amid allegations he supplied damning footage of officers assaulting young dad Noa Begic in 2012.
However, the potential jail sentence did not stop Sgt Flori being nominated for the award, which is open to public voting.
Sgt Flori is one of 18 officers to be nominated for the Rotary-sponsored award, which rewards officers who have gone “above and beyond” in the line of duty. More than 2800 nominations have been for Sergeant Flori.
Awards chairman Ray Milton, from Broadbeach Rotary Club, said the support for Sgt Flori was extraordinary.
His supporters had arranged to personally deliver the package of nominations so as not to clog up fax and email systems.
“We’ve never had anything like it,” Mr Milton said. “Sometimes in the past we’ve seen people receive 15-20 nominations, but never anything on this scale.”
However, despite the number of nominations, it does not guarantee Sgt Flori, who denied leaking the video, will win. “It’s not about the number of nominations,” Mr Milton said. “It has more to do with fulfilling the criteria over the 12-month period.”
If Sgt Flori won it would be a major source of embarrassment for senior police, who have pursued charges against the Surfers Paradise officer for more than three years.
Sgt Flori returns to court on September 18 to face misconduct charges.