Ken Lay (police officer)

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Ken Lay
21st Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police
In office
14 November 2011 – 31 January 2015
Preceded by Simon Overland
Succeeded by Graham Ashton
Personal details
Born Kenneth Douglas Lay
(1956-02-17) 17 February 1956 (age 61)
Korumburra, Victoria, Australia
Alma mater Monash University
Occupation Police officer

Kenneth Douglas "Ken" Lay AO, APM (born 17 February 1956 in Korumburra, Victoria) is a former Australian police officer and Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police from 2011 to 2015.[1]

Lay was raised in the town of Korumburra in Victoria's South Gippsland region. He joined Victoria Police in 1974, serving in Melbourne at Prahran before being stationed in regional Victoria including as an Inspector in his home town.[1]

In 2003, Lay was appointed chief of staff to Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon, then promoted to Assistant Commissioner for North-West Victoria in 2005, Assistant Commissioner (Traffic and Transit Safety) in 2008. In 2009, he became Deputy Commissioner (Road Policing)—Victoria's top "traffic cop".[1]

In October 2009, Lay was photographed by a speed camera driving 10 kilometres per hour (6.2 mph) over the speed limit through the town of Tooborac. He kept the speeding offence under wraps due to concern about undermining a Christmas road toll campaign, but admitted his error to Chief Commissioner Simon Overland. Lay announced the speeding offence publicly in January 2010.[2]

When Overland resigned as Chief Commissioner in June 2011, Lay was made Acting Chief Commissioner. On 14 November 2011, Premier Ted Baillieu and Police Minister Peter Ryan announced that Lay had been formally appointed as Victoria Police's Chief Commissioner.[3]

On 29 December 2014, Lay announced he was resigning as Chief Commissioner due to his wife's illness. His resignation formally took effect on 31 January 2015, however he took leave between the announcement and his formal resignation. Deputy Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright acted in the role until Graham Ashton was appointed as the new Chief Commissioner.[4]

Post police career[edit]

On January 28, 2015, Lay was appointed as the Chair of the Council of Australian Government's Advisory Council on Family Violence.[5] Later that year he was appointed as the Chair of the Prime Minister's Ice Taskforce.[6] In 2016 he was appointed to the Board of the EssendonFootball Club.[7]

Until September 2016 he was a Director of the Greyhound Racing Board after the previous Board stood down shortly after a widely publicised "live baiting" scandal.[8] He was appointed to the Board of Dixon Hospitality (DHL) in 2016 [9] and as Chair of the Ambulance Victoria Board in January 2016.[10]

Lay was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Monash University in 2015.[11] In 2017 Lay was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to law enforcement as Chief Commissioner of the Victoria Police, through structural reforms to recruitment, training and deployment, and to social and community leadership.[12]

Honours and awards[edit]

OrderAustraliaRibbon.png APM Australia ribbon.png NPSM Ribbon.jpg National Medal with Rosette.png

OrderAustraliaRibbon.png Officer of the Order of Australia 2017 Australia Day Honours[12]
APM Australia ribbon.png Australian Police Medal (APM) 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours[13]
NPSM Ribbon.jpg National Police Service Medal
National Medal with Rosette.png National Medal & Bar [14][15]


  1. ^ a b c Peter Munro (19 November 2011). "The boy from Korumburra grows up into a quiet achiever". The Age. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Anthony Dowsley, Antonia Magee (15 January 2010). "Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland backs top traffic cop Ken Lay after revelation of speeding offence". Herald Sun. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Victoria gets new top cop". 774 ABC Melbourne. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Spooner, Rania (29 December 2014). "Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay steps down". The Age. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Ballarat Courier 28 June 2015
  6. ^ Herald Sun 7 April 2015
  7. ^ EFC Website December 2015
  8. ^ Herald Sun March 11, 2015
  9. ^ The Australian 4 February 2016
  10. ^ Premier of Victoria Media Release 30 September 2015
  11. ^ "Alumni News". Monash University. 12 May 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia" (PDF). Australia Day 2017 Honours List. Governor-General of Australia. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  13. ^ LAY, Kenneth Douglas, It's an Honour, 11 June 2007.
  14. ^ LAY, Kenneth Douglas, It's an Honour, 3 December 1990.
  15. ^ LAY, Kenneth Douglas, It's an Honour, 31 July 1999.
Police appointments
Preceded by
Simon Overland
Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police
Succeeded by
Graham Ashton