Todd2I served in the WA Police Service for 15 years and continually aspired to be the best I could be. I progressed through the ranks and made my final mark as a Detective Sergeant at the Cannington District Crime Team.

I thoroughly loved my job, I rarely took a day off as I just enjoyed going to work everyday. It was the one job I was happy to do for the rest of my life. I couldn't imagine ever leaving as it just seemed to be my calling. I mean I grew up in a police family, my father, uncles, father in law and other family members were all police officers.

I was a fit and healthy person, both mentally and physically, and I loved working on cars, riding motorbikes and generally catching up with everybody. I have a wife of 18 years and a now 18-year-old daughter.

I have attended numerous serious incidents, crashes, fatalities, suicides, post mortems, sudden deaths, sexual assaults, domestic violence incidents and so on but never did I ever feel much effect. Sometimes some sadness and the occasional tear telling someone that their loved one had died but generally I was going along great.

I had never attended any other doctor other than my GP for the general cold or ailment.

On January 26, 2012 (early morning of Australia Day) my life changed forever.

Whilst working the night shift on Australia Day, I was patrolling the Maddington area with my partner when we stopped a vehicle. Whilst I was talking to the driver of the vehicle my partner was speaking to the passenger. This is all information passed to me after the incident as I lost my memory and it has not returned.

At some point, the front passenger of the vehicle has entered our unmarked police vehicle which had the emergency lights flashing as per standard procedure. Also standard procedure is to leave the vehicle running otherwise the battery goes flat and you get stuck.

I apparently tried to stop this person (Michael Colbung) at which point he reversed over me causing me to be knocked unconscious. The vehicle dragged me backwards along the road and the driver then drove off again driving over both of my legs.

I was conveyed to the Royal Perth Hospital Trauma ward due to the nature of my injuries which consisted of numerous areas of skin torn off, road base embedded in my skin, numerous areas of swelling and bruising, concussion, memory loss, severe pain in my back, legs, face, hands, elbows and ankles.

At about 2am one of my officers attended my home and advised my wife and daughter of the situation and they immediately headed to the hospital along with other members of my family.

Due to the memory loss, I did not know most of the people in the hospital. I spent a number of days on morphine and having numerous tests and scans which included brain scans as they thought I had a traumatic brain injury. To this day, I still suffer memory issues and do believe I suffered a brain injury but the results weren't conclusive.

As you can imagine, my family was absolutely devastated, so much so that my daughter left the room and had to vomit after seeing my injuries.

Upon my release from hospital, my family, police team mates and direct supervisor were amazing, they cared for my family and I by providing support, paying for a house cleaner and giving us meals so we didn't have to worry.

I was required to attend the doctors every day, luckily my family was able to drive me as I was unable to move.

The doctors would clean all of my wounds and ensure I had sufficient pain killers and anti-inflammatories to keep my pain down.

I could not work, I could barely move and I looked liked a monster. The doctors told me to use a special cream on my wounds to prevent scaring, This meant that I was required to remove the dressing, both morning and night, and pull the scabbing tissue off. Due to the extreme pain, I passed out on numerous occasions causing significant stress on my family.

After a few months, I was able to go outside and I noticed an uneasy feeling I have never felt before. I noticed that I was scared, I sweated profusely, I was hypervigilant, I felt sick in the stomach, I was always scanning for threats and I started to drink more alcohol to cope.

It got to a point where it was so bad that I had to go see the doctor. For me, this was a terrible thing as I didn't believe in anxiety or depression and thought if your having a bad day you just do something positive to make it better, but nothing seemed to make it better.

Eventually, I became so emotional that I began to cry for no reason.

The doctor prescribed me more medication and I resisted at first because of my beliefs but knew it was futile and I needed the medication to exist.

During the next two years, I attended over 200 appointments including doctors, physiotherapy, brain scans, MRIs, bone scans, blood tests, water therapy, psychologists, psychiatrists and other appointments. During all of these visits, my family had to take time off work to take me.

Todd1
Eventually, I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of my serious assault. I attended a course at the Hollywood Hospital which helped me understand my condition and ways to cope with it. I understand that it will never go away and that it is something I have to deal with daily for the rest of my life.

Immediately after the accident, I noted major pain in my back and hips. I tried so many things to fix it but the doctors couldn't seem to find the problem. On Jauly 21, 2016 I was diagnosed with Ankeoloidal Spondalitis and was advised that although the condition wasn't directly caused by my assault, it was brought forward significantly and this is why I now have the pain which was debilitating. This disease attributed to my significant constant pain and as a result I now inject myself every two weeks to reduce the pain.

My family and family life has suffered dramatically as I now deal with my PTSD, anxiety, depression, pain and memory loss. This assault has affected every facet of my life.

On July 31, 2014, I was discharged from WA Police on medical grounds. I totally understood this decision but to this day wish I had never accepted it.

I was the subject of so many issues that I was dealing with, as you can see, and note it probably wasn't the best decision but at that stage, not remembering people's names, not recalling points of law and so on it was never going to work.

On my discharge, I was given my accrued leave and four weeks pay from the WA Police Service.

To this day, I was never contacted or visited by the Commissioner of Police nor his senior representative and that is pretty sad.

I didn't make a big fuss about my injuries or the way I was treated because I was an emotional wreck and couldn't dare deal with the media, also I was still attending court by myself as the victim and also during the subsequent appeal of the offender's sentence and again was on my own, relying on my family to take me to court and look after me. WA Police had once again failed me and I was left to sit there with my family, the offender's family and the media.

This seriously shouldn't be the case, WA Police should have had more compassion and empathy I believe especially in my situation. My incident was reported in the media, in the papers, on the radio, on social media and so on but it seems to have just been passed over.

I watch the news and hope for a better life for injured officers but it appears that only the squeaky wheel gets the grease, unless you take the matter to the media of make a big issue of the incident then it just gets swept under the carpet.

I wrote this to inform you of the situation that we are dealing with everyday. Not only emotional pain, but both physical and mental pain.

I never thought I would turn into this person but my circumstances are what they are and this is the hand I have been dealt.

By. Medically retired officer Detective Sergeant Todd Rowe