Mick Keelty

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Mick Keelty

Mick Keelty.jpg
Keelty in July 2014
Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police
In office
2 April 2001 – 2 September 2009
Preceded byMick Palmer
Succeeded byTony Negus
Personal details
Born (1954-07-13) 13 July 1954 (age 64)
Sydney, Australia
ProfessionPolice officer

Michael Joseph Keelty AO APM (born 13 July 1954), Australian police officer who was the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police from 2001 to 2009. Keelty became the inaugural Chairperson of the Australian Crime Commission in 2003.

Policing career[edit]

Keelty joined the Australian Capital Territory Police in 1974,[1] which was subsequently merged with the Commonwealth Police in 1979, to create the Australian Federal Police (AFP). During his policing career, Keelty had experience across organised crime and corruption whilst seconded to the National Crime Authority, intelligence, community policing, and drug operations. He became an Assistant Commissioner of the AFP in 1995 and Deputy Commissioner in 1998. Keelty was appointed Commissioner of Police of the Australian Federal Police on 2 April 2001 for an initial term of five years.[2] At the time, aged 46, he was the youngest Commissioner and the first Commissioner appointed from within the ranks of the AFP.[1]

As Commissioner, Keelty oversaw the expansion of the AFP following the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States of America later that year with Bali bombing massacres, Indonesia in October 2002 and two or three years later on the Indian Ocean tsunami and Nias-Simeulue earthquake disaster in between December 2004 and March 2005. The organisation quadrupled in size and budget in the eight-and-a-half years he served as Commissioner taking on new roles such as the International Deployment Group – a body of some 1,200 officers serving in Afghanistan, Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea[3] and expanding the AFP's budget from A$370 million in 2001 to A$1.3 billion in 2009.[4]

Major controversies in the AFP on his watch included the investigation of Muhamed Haneef, an Indian born doctor, on suspicion of involvement in the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack that saw a protracted investigation and release without charge, with later substantial compensation for loss of income, interruption of his professional work, and emotional distress largely based on the actions of the AFP. Mick Keelty also oversaw the AFP's involvement in the Bali Nine where 9 Australians were known to be carrying drugs to Indonesia, where they were arrested, jailed with two executed. The AFP never advised if they notified the Indonesians, however said they were unable to arrest the nine before departure from Australia.[5] He is unrepentant about the AFP's role in the Bali Nine saga.[6][7]

Keelty retired on 2 September 2009, on the 35th anniversary of commencing as a police officer.

Career after policing[edit]

Since his retirement from the AFP, Keelty has become an Adjunct Professor at both the Australian National University and Charles Sturt University undertaking research into policy implications of social networking for covert operations by police and security agencies. He is a member of the International Advisory Board for the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security[8] and a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Council on Organised Crime.

In February 2011, Keelty was appointed by the WA Government to lead the independent inquiry into the Perth Hills Bushfires.[9]

Honours and awards[edit]

OrderAustraliaRibbon.png Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) 13 June 2011, "For distinguished service to national and international law enforcement, particularly through the establishment of bilateral agreements with corresponding overseas agencies and the integration of intelligence and law enforcement efforts within Australia".[10]
APM Australia ribbon.png Australian Police Medal (APM) 1996 "For distinguished police service".[11]
Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Centenary Medal 2001[1]
National Medal with Rosette.png National Medal with Rosette 1991[12] and 1999.[13] For 25–34 years of service.
Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang ribbon (from 1996).png Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang 2008, Singapore's Distinguished Service Order (civilian)[14]

Keelty's academic qualifications include a Masters of Public Policy and Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia, USA; he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Fleming, J; Das, D (2004). "Commissioner Mick Keelty, Australian Federal Police". Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Policing and Security. Archived from the original on 1 March 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Reviews will become foundations stones for future changes". Platypus Magazine. Australian Federal Police. 11 February 2008. Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
  3. ^ "Annual Report 2008-09". Australian Federal Police. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  4. ^ Dobell, Graeme (8 May 2009). "Keelty: Top Cop, big bucks and geopolitics". The Interpreter. Lowy Institute for International Policy. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  5. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bali-nine-executions-afp-defends-its-role-in-arrests-20150504-1mz88a.html
  6. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2006/s1572902.htm
  7. ^ "Former AFP Chief Keelty gives evidence in Scott Rush case". PM (ABC Radio). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  8. ^ "International Advisory Board". Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Policing and Security. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  9. ^ http://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx?ItemId=136721&
  10. ^ "Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)". Australian Honours Database. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  11. ^ Australian Police Medal, 10 June 1966, It's an Honour]
  12. ^ National Medal, 15 November 1991, It's an Honour]
  13. ^ National Medal – 1st Clasp, 26 November 1999, It's an Honour]
  14. ^ Australian Police Chief Conferred Distinguished Service Order, Police Life Monthly, Volume 34, No.18, June 2008, Singapore Police Force, www.spf.gov.sg
Police appointments
Preceded by
Mick Palmer
Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police
Succeeded by
Tony Negus