Deputy Chief Police Officer - Capability and Community Safety

DCPO McDonald

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Commander Elizabeth McDonald is ACT Policing’s Deputy Chief Police Officer–Capability and Community Safety and manages ACT Policing Operations; Intelligence and Community Safety; and Judicial and Family Violence Operations.

Commander McDonald joined the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 1986 where she started in general duties in ACT Policing at Belconnen Police Station.  From 1990 – 2000, she held  investigative roles within ACT Policing in various areas including the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit; City Crime, Armed Robbery Taskforce and the Territory Investigation Group. 

In 2001, Commander McDonald left the AFP and worked in a number of Australian Public Service agencies including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade where she was a senior international security advisor.  

She returned to the AFP in 2007, working in policy roles in the Operational Response Group in Brisbane.  In 2011, Commander McDonald transferred to the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) where she led a number of leadership projects to professionalise policing, including the implementation of the Australia New Zealand Police Leadership Strategy for law enforcement agencies within Australia and New Zealand.

She returned to Canberra in 2013 in Professional Standards ACT Policing, and led a multi-agency corruption investigation with the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.

In 2015, Commander McDonald was assigned to National Crime Operations, responsible for the national coordination of domestic and international operations relating to drug offences, corruption,

fraud and national response crimes.

Commander McDonald led a major reform initiative in 2016, to establish AFP Safe Place, a key response to combat sexual harassment, bullying and exclusion within the AFP.  She was promoted to Superintendent in 2017.

In 2019, Commander McDonald moved to Child Protection Operations and, as National Coordinator, was responsible for the national coordination of domestic and international operations relating to child sexual exploitation.

Commander McDonald has recently been on secondment to the Office of the Inspector General, Murray Darling Basin, Water Resources, where she has designed the operational and policy response to issues impacting on the management of water resources.

Commander McDonald is married and has two adult daughters who are currently undertaking tertiary studies.  She has been awarded the Commissioner’s Medal for Excellence; Australia Day Achievement Medallion; Commissioner’s Medal for Conspicuous Conduct; National Medal; National Police Service Medal (25 year clasp) and ACT Community Policing Medal.

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