Korumburra’s Ken Lay has announced his resignation as at the Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police due to the ill health of his wife, Chris; he will officially step down from the role at the end of January. C202312.
THREE years after taking over the top job, Korumburra’s Ken Lay has announced he will step down as Victoria Police Chief Commissioner.
Mr Lay made the announcement during a press conference yesterday (Monday) citing the ill health of his wife, who will undergo treatment over the next 12 months.
“My decision to leave has come a little sooner than I thought it might,” Mr Lay said. “The catalyst was deeply personal.”
During the conference Mr Lay said it was time for him to give back to his wife of 33 years.
“Chris, my wife and partner of 33 years, is facing an illness that will require extensive treatment,” Mr Lay said.
“The time is right for me to return the unconditional support she has given the Victoria Police, the Victorian community and me.
“I believe I am leaving the organisation in good shape to face future challenges- whatever they may be.”
Describing the role as one that requires absolute focus, commitment and energy 365 days of the year, Mr Lay said he “simply cannot invest that energy” while his family is facing a different challenge.
Since taking over the role of Chief Commissioner in June 2011, Mr Lay has led a drive for change in community attitudes toward violence against women and children.
It was an area he said he was particularly proud of during yesterday’s announcement.
“We need to change the model, we need to challenge the model,” Mr Lay said.
“What I am most proud of has been the change in the community’s attitude towards violence against women and children.”
He said also he was “enormously proud” the new State Government would hold a Royal Commission into family violence, which he said would help to further protect women and children.
Mr Lay has served with Victoria Police for 41 years, starting at Prahran Police Station during the 1970s before moving to regional Victoria in the 1980s.
In 1998 Mr Lay graduated from Monash University with a Diploma in Police Studies.
In 2003 he became Chief of Staff to the then Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon, before becoming Assistant Commissioner for north-west Victoria in 2005, then in 2011 he took over from Simon Overland to become the 21st commissioner.
His resignation will be finalised at the end of January.