Extract from Herald Sun, June 23, 2017
A former senior policeman who played a major role in introducing Crime Stoppers to Victoria has died, aged 65.
Ken McKenzie was the first police co-ordinator of Crime Stoppers when the program started in Victoria nearly 30 years ago.
Later, after retiring from Victoria Police in 1993, he became chairman of Crime Stoppers Victoria, the civilian board that is responsible for the funding, marketing and promotion of the program.
Former Chief Commissioner S. I. “Mick” Miller, who launched Crime Stoppers shortly before he retired in late 1987, said yesterday that Mr McKenzie played a pivotal role in the concept’s success.
“When I told Ken and Geoffrey Wilkinson to go and make it happen I was confident they’d get the job done,” Mr Miller said.
“Not only did they get it done, but they turned Crime Stoppers into the most successful crime-fighting strategy this country has ever seen”.
Mr Wilkinson — who was then the force’s founding Media Director and introduced Crime Stoppers to Australia after a Churchill Fellowship study tour — said yesterday his friend and colleague’s death was “a cruel, tragic loss”.
“Crime Stoppers will stand as a fitting legacy to his community service, and the community has a lot to thank him for,” Mr Wilkinson said.
“The program’s extraordinary success is testament to Ken’s ability, his absolute commitment to whatever job he tackled, his people skills and his friendly, larger than life manner,” he said.
Crime Stoppers was responsible for a record 1,541 arrests in Victoria last year and information from callers led to 5,599 charges being laid.
After retiring from Victoria Police in 1993, he became chairman of Crime Stoppers.
“He was a very, very talented policeman — and a good mate — who made significant contributions to Victoria Police,” said Deputy Commissioner John Frame.
“His great ability was shown in his later success in the commercial world and as chair of Crime Stoppers”.
Mr McKenzie, a life member of Crime Stoppers, also chaired the Crime Stoppers International conference in Melbourne in 2003 — the first time the hundreds of Crime Stoppers programs throughout the world had ever met outside the US.
Ken McKenzie died after a long battle with cancer.