Peter Ward trained with special forces and SWAT and hostage-rescue teams across Australia and the USA as part of Victoria Police’s elite tactical Special Operations Group (SOG).
He speaks to Luke Voogt about his career and moving to Geelong after becoming the local divisional commander last month.
Tell us about you…
I was predominately raised in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne enjoying football, cricket and most other sports. I attended Marist Brothers completing my VCE and commenced a role in the banking industry before joining Victoria Police in 1989 at the tender age of 18. I was motivated to join Victoria Police after my research identified a wide variety of roles available, and it was a secure career pathway.
What have you done in your career with Victoria Police?
I worked in several inner suburban police stations before joining the Special Operations Group (SOG) in 1994.
I have also travelled extensively nationally and internationally undertaking tactical training programs, including with the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, the SAS Regiment in Perth and in New Zealand, and numerous SWAT teams in the USA.
I spent about 15 years in the SOG as an operator and team leader, before progressing through the ranks running Richmond police station and being the Melbourne West local area commander.
In 2018 I returned to the SOG as the divisional commander which saw me lead the SOG, the Critical Incident Response Team, the Bomb Response Unit, and the Protective Services Unit.
In May 2021 I commenced my current role as the divisional commander of western region division one – Geelong.
The highlight of my career would be reflecting on all the opportunities I have had to make a difference within the community.
What do you like to do locally?
In 2021 I moved with my family to the Geelong area, and my wife, our two teenagers and I are settling in well.
On weekends and the school holidays we enjoy mountain biking in the You Yangs Regional Park, water activities – swimming and surfing – on the Surf Coast and playing basketball at home.
Now lockdown is over we are enjoying all the food, coffee and eateries Geelong offers and are amazed by the variety of cuisines.
At the moment the following are in favour: Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican and the trusty Pizza and Pasta combo.
How have you coped with COVID-19?
There is no doubt COVID-19 has been challenging for us all, but as a family we have endured many hours of home schooling and have been very creative in keeping the boys occupied.
I have recently received my second AstraZeneca vaccination and have not had any adverse reactions.
I have been very impressed by the community spirit and positive approach to the most recent lockdown and the uptake in getting vaccinated.
What’s something about you that people might not know?
I can’t start my day without an extra-large four shot late with half a sugar, no matter what day it is.