A former New South Wales cop tried to get his job back and claimed he was unfairly dismissed after text messages emerged of him referring to colleagues as ‘c**ns’, ranking females based on their looks and mocking others’ sexuality.
Former Leading Constable Calvin Dunne appealed to the Industrial Relations Commission to reinstate his job at Botany Bay Local Area Command after he was fired in 2019.
He denied any of his actions amounted to sexual assault or bullying and told the court he and his young family were struggling to live off his wife’s $120,000 salary.
Mr Dunne’s request was ultimately denied after the court determined that his dismissal was fair.
Former Leading Constable Calvin Dunne asked the men in the group chat to help him rate his female colleagues’ appearance
Constable Jordan Crotty (pictured) was reportedly internally disciplined and placed on restricted duties for her involvement in the group chat
He also asked two female colleagues to ‘go down on each other [and] film it’ before making several other sexist remarks
The father-of-one created a WhatsApp group chat for he and 19 of his colleagues where cops would make insensitive remarks toward one another.
The group chat, which was initially named ‘Patrol Fairies 2.0’ but later named the ‘Dog Pound’ led to the dismissal of Mr Dunne and one other officer, Ben Vizzone.
Mr Vizzone challenged his dismissal, and the matter settled outside of court.
Within the chat, Mr Dunne asked colleagues to tell him ‘what her p**sy tasted like’ when discussing other women and referred to several subordinates as ‘f***ots’.
‘Sonter, you have about as much c**n in you as hanna has hair,’ one of the texts read. ‘She’s c**n… c**ns don’t date… they steal.’
In a separate exchange on the same day in 2017, Mr Dunne asked the men in the group chat to help him rate his female colleagues’ appearance.
Within the chat, Mr Dunne asked colleagues to tell him ‘what her p**sy tasted like’ when discussing other women and referred to several subordinates as ‘f***ots’
In one message exchange, Mr Dunne said ‘c**ns don’t date… they steal’ while speaking to a colleague who identifies as Aboriginal
‘Guys can we go back to Jackie getting bolt ons… Surely that puts her in first place now? Chelsea defo number 1 for under 3… Jackie just went to number 1 over 30,’ he said.
Another category in the competition was the most attractive ‘milf’ – which is an acronym for a mother someone would like to sleep with.
He also asked two female colleagues to ‘go down on each other [and] film it’.
Even as the text messages were presented to the court, Mr Dunne argued that they were all lighthearted and denied they constituted sexual harassment or bullying.
He asked several colleagues to say that they did not feel bullied or uncomfortable when they were named in the group chat, but none went on the record.
Dunne and Constable Ben Vizzone (pictured), who was also part of the chat group, were fired, while Crotty faced internal disciplinary action and was placed on restricted duties
Given the circumstances, Mr Dunne argued that his dismissal from the workforce was harsh, and begged the judge to reinstate him.
He also claimed that the Covid pandemic had made it increasingly difficult for him to find suitable work and indicated he was one small part of a broader cultural problem within the New South Wales Police Force.
The court heard since he was stood down, Mr Dunne had become a father, but his wife was forced to return to work to support the family.
She earns $120,000 working in human resources, but Mr Dunne appealed to the court that they were ‘struggling financially as a result of [his] dismissal’.
The group chat, which was initially named ‘Patrol Fairies 2.0’ but later named the ‘Dog Pound’ led to the dismissal of Mr Dunne and one other officer
Mr Dunne also made remarks like the above, but denied he bullied or harassed any of his colleagues
‘After paying a mortgage, car loan, and all other utilities and household expenses, we are struggling financially,’ he explained.
While the court determined he likely would not reoffend in the same manner should he be reinstated, the judge cited his ‘blemished’ history in the force.
In his 10-year tenure, Mr Dunne had been subjected to conduct management plans and there was evidence of ‘conduct and behavioural issues’.
He had been cited for unprofessional exercise at a training exercise and on one occasion bragged about taking a photo of a severed hand, the court heard.
There were four other instances of Mr Dunne being counselled between 2007 and 2009.
Response from New South Wales Police regarding Mr Dunne’s employment
‘It is essential that all sworn police officers behave to the highest standards of conduct at all times, both on and off duty, and place integrity above all. As an experienced Senior Constable of Police, and a Leading Senior Constable at the relevant time, you carry the burden of not only consistently meeting these standards of behaviour, but enforcing those standards amongst the junior officers that you are responsible for supervising. In view of your proven misconduct and lack of integrity, I do not have confidence that you can consistently meet the standards expected of you in the future, let alone enforce those standards with the officers you supervise.
As a police officer, you should be acutely aware that the general public are entitled to expect every police officer will behave lawfully, appropriately and honestly, and demonstrate the highest standards of conduct and integrity. In light of my findings, I cannot see how your conduct and integrity as a police officer could be relied upon if you were to perform policing duties in the future.
I therefore exercise my statutory responsibility and make a determination that I do not have confidence in your suitability to remain a member of the New South Wales Police Force. I therefore remove you from your position as a police officer.’