Guy murder inquiry head promoted
The detective in charge of the Scott Guy murder investigation has been promoted to superintendent, becoming only the second to woman to currently hold the rank.
Formerly a detective inspector, Sue Schwalger started her new job as national manager of professional standards this week, a position that carries the rank of superintendent.
Mrs Schwalger was named the preferred candidate for the position in July, and following a review period when her candidacy was open to internal appeal, she was given the job.
She was given her new epaulets on Monday by Police Commissioner Peter Marshall in front of members of the senior executive.
The promotion makes her one of just two women in the country to hold the rank of superintendent, the other being Sandra Manderson.
"It was a significant event for me," Mrs Schwalger said.
"It's significant for women in policing and police itself. I like to think I bring a balance." Mrs Schwalger now commands a staff of nine.
Their job is to liaise with the Independent Police Conduct Authority and, effectively, deal with complaints against police.
"I'm passionate about maintaining public trust and confidence in police, and about the reputation of police and the service we provide." The unit was about maintaining and enhancing that, and in particular, reducing complaints by being more proactive, rather than just responding to them, she said.
She planned to bring the prevention-first model used in daily policing into internal investigations, she said.
Before the move, Mrs Schwalger was based in Palmerston North and led the investigation into the murder of Mr Guy, the 31-year-old Feilding farmer shot dead in his driveway in July 2010.
His brother-in-law, Ewen Macdonald, was found not guilty of his murder earlier this year.
Mrs Schwalger also spent about a year as area commander of Whanganui police. The move into her new role meant more development for her, she said.
"I had the opportunity to change direction and gain more experience and do something different and this is a new opportunity for me to develop further."
Central District commander Superintendent Russell Gibson called Mrs Schwalger an "outstanding police officer". "She will take the experience she has gained through front-line policing into the national role and New Zealand police will be better because of it."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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