Western District gets new assistant police commissioner

Western Region’s new assistant police commissioner Michael Grainger. (supplied)

Michael Granger APM is Victoria Police Western Region’s new assistant commissioner.

Mr Grainger takes over from Assistant Commissioner Cindy Millen who has been in the role for the past four years. Western Victoria encompasses the districts of Bellarine, Buninyong, Geelong, Lara, Lowan, Melton, Polwarth, Ripon, South Barwon, South-West Coast and Wendouree.

Mr Grainger joined Victoria Police in 1984, having spent time working as a medical orderly in a major road trauma hospital emergency department after leaving school.

He spent the next five years working as a frontline police officer across Melbourne’s western suburbs until 1989 when he was appointed as a detective.

Mr Grainger gained extensive investigative experience across local crime units and major crime squads including homicide, armed robbery and armed offenders. He was promoted to inspector at Hobsons Bay in Melbourne’s inner southwest in 2007.

In 2014 he was promoted to superintendent at Road Policing Command where he developed statewide road safety strategies with the aim to end road trauma in Victoria.

In 2018 he was appointed as assistant commissioner at State Emergencies and Support Command where he oversaw statewide police communications, prisoner care, major event planning and emergency response including two major bushfire seasons and the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Grainger is the recipient of several accolades including an Australian Police Medal in 2021.

He continues to support his career through education and tertiary studies, currently undertaking studies in ethics. He has previously achieved qualifications in public administration, police management and road safety leadership.

In his new role Mr Grainger is committed to understanding the community and policing challenges in major rural cities and communities across western Victoria.

He is keenly focussed on road safety, family violence, youth crime and drug-related crime. He is also committed to ensuring both victims and offenders are referred to support services to help prevent future offending.

“I am so proud to lead police efforts across western Victoria,” Mr Grainger said.

“I see our police members closely engaged with their communities and so committed to delivering community safety every day; they are remarkable.

“I am determined to continue to focus our efforts on being the best we can be, to support our community.

“I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, assistant commissioner Cindy Millen who has developed an excellent team, with great focus and vision for the future. She is a remarkable person, a wonderful example of a compassionate leader and an exceptional officer.”

Ms Millen said it had been a “privilege to lead police across the extremely diverse Western Region”.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the work we have done to keep communities safe, particularly in relation to firearm and drug-related crime,” she said.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I hand over the reins to Assistant Commissioner Michael Grainger – a man of great experience, high integrity and equally as passionate about community safety as myself.

“Western Victorians are in extremely capable hands with Mr Grainger at the helm, and I look forward to seeing the positive influence he will surely have over police operations in the region.”