February 24, 2008
DURING his three years as a NSW police officer, Dallas McCarthy endured taunts of "poofter boy" and "fag dog" - not from criminals but from his own colleagues.
Mr McCarthy claims he was ordered by a superior to introduce himself to senior officers as "pillow-biter". And he says when he discreetly complained he discovered a handful of chopped liver in his locker and a note warning: "Your heart's next."
The former constable abandoned his ambition of becoming a gay and lesbian liaison officer, quitting the force in disgust last April.
In his initial letter of complaint, while stationed at Cabramatta, Mr McCarthy told of being ridiculed by an officer in the tea room with the claim that he give his boyfriend a pillow for Valentine's Day.
The same officer also allegedly asked if the doughnut he was eating "reminded" him of anything. Later, he was assigned to visit a local sex shop, where he might be able to "look for a new pillow to buy".
Mr McCarthy said he had appealed to a superior, yet word of their supposedly private meeting leaked back to his tormenters within days.
He then went to the force's employee management branch and was placed on a witness support program. However, fictitious payback complaints began emerging about his own behaviour.
Mr McCarthy said an internal investigation into the chopped liver incident put it down to "an officer subjected to harassment by other officers" but failed to identify who was responsible.
He eventually obtained a transfer to Bankstown but the vilification started again after a management shake-up.
Mr McCarthy, who has insulin-dependent diabetes, suffered heightened blood glucose levels, and he became so despondent he resigned.
On Friday, a NSW Police spokeswoman said the Cabramatta allegations were "thoroughly investigated and appropriate disciplinary action was taken against the perpetrator".
A spokesman for Police Minister David Campbell said the minister had received a letter from Mr McCarthy.
"He was satisfied that the issues raised had been dealt with internally by police headquarters," he said.
Mr McCarthy said while he had been "embarrassed, belittled, extremely intimidated and shaken" by his experience in the police force, he was determined to move on with his life. He has started a new job and a teaching degree.
On Saturday, he hopes to volunteer at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade as a show of support for his former colleagues who will be marching in police uniform.