She's a fair cop, says proud dad

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 01/04/2014
police father daughter
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IN HER FATHER'S STEPS: Senior Constable Mike Colligan with his wife Natalie and his daughter Ellen, 28, who has graduated as a constable from the Victoria Police Academy in Melbourne. 

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It's not often a police officer cries in public, but Alexandra Senior Constable Mike Colligan could not stop the tears.

Australian police granted Colligan the rare privilege of handing over his daughter's Certificate of Identity at her graduation ceremony at the Victoria Police Academy in Melbourne on Friday.

Colligan said his 28-year-old daughter, Ellen Colligan, who graduated as a constable, had to submit a written application for him to present her with the certificate at the ceremony.

"The Victoria police have a tradition if your parents are serving members or were serving members of the Victoria police they can present a Certificate of Identity at the graduation ceremony, which consists of a badge and photo ID. It has never been done before by a police officer outside of Australia, or possibly outside of Victoria.

"I was absolutely stoked, humbled and honoured."

Colligan said he not only got to present his daughter with the certificate, he got to salute and shake hands with the acting commissioner of police.

"I gave my daughter her certificate and gave her a big hug and had tears rolling down my face then I had to turn and salute the acting commissioner. ‘There is no shame in tears', the commissioner said to me."

Ellen Colligan said from Melbourne she had "always wanted to be like Dad".

"I have always wanted to be a cop . . . I really wanted him to be the one to hand it over just because he was so proud and I was actually stoked I had actually made it."

Her dad hugged her so tightly after handing over the certificate her hat nearly fell off, she said.

"There were a lot of people there who said they didn't feel emotional until they saw Dad and I. When I saw Dad I was saying over and over again, ‘Don't cry, don't cry', then the acting commissioner said to me, ‘Is your dad here?', and I said, ‘Yeah, he's standing right beside you'."

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