Behind the badge: Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers

Chief Police Officer for the ACT Rudi Lammers

There are moments in your life that can change someone forever. One decision…a turning point. Stay or walk away. Step up or stay put. Act on your heart or listen to fear. Say yes or say no. Or it could involve a pillow case, two nine year old boys and some stolen Lego…

Chief Police Officer (CPO) for the ACT Rudi Lammers has been with the Australian Federal Police for the past 34 years, 24 of them in ACT Policing, and he has faced many turning points in his life.

Moving from Wollongong to Canberra after falling in love with his now wife at the age of 13, 44 years later they have four kids, one grandchild and another on the way…

Studying a law degree while raising a young family and running a small business as a young Constable…

And becoming CPO, the most interesting, rewarding and draining job he’s ever had.

But there are also decisions you can make that change someone else’s life forever (cue the Lego).

It was about 33 years ago when then Constable Lammers was called to a burglary in Narrabundah.

The thief, who was a nine-year-old boy, was holding a pillow slip filled with Lego. It was the sixth time he had climbed through the window of his neighbour’s bedroom and stolen toys.

So, deciding to give the thief another chance, Constable Lammers asked the nine-year-old victim, “What do you think we should do?”.

The boy reached over, grabbed the pillow slip, tipped out half the Lego and gave the remainder to the other child and said, “Any time you want to play Lego you can come over. But can you please come through the front door, because Dad gets really cranky when you come through the window."

Constable Lammers decided to take into consideration the needs of the victim and the offender and let them reconcile their differences without any criminal action taken.

Then, a few years ago Rudi was approached by a stranger at a local club.

The man came over and asked, “Do you know who I am?....I'm the Lego boy from Narrabundah and that day more than 30 years ago changed my life," He said he had stopped stealing the day Constable Lammers had shown him some kindness and now runs a building company and had never come to police notice again.

Assistant Commissioner Lammers says that what you achieve in life is a combination of choice and chance.

The greatest power we possess is the power to choose, to shape our own future, but it is the risks we take along the way that truly define us.

Life is always at some sort of turning point so when you cross someone’s path, change their direction for the better.