Ex-cop Opens Up About Life After The Force: “I’m Just A Former Copper”

There is a growing number of resignations in Australia’s police jurisdictions due to increased workloads and mental health concerns, but leaving the force isn’t easy.

After former cops hand in their badges, they’re faced with finding transferrable career skills.

James Maskey is one of these former cops. He said, “I knew in my heart that I had to leave policing […] I was seeing a psychologist privately outside of the service who diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Maskey was working in Queensland’s Child Protection Unit, and when he left, he was faced with finding a new purpose.

“I thought, you know what? I’m reaching here. I’m just a former copper. What right do I have to work anywhere else?” Maskey said.

Hear about Maskey’s time in Queensland’s Child Protection Unit on Crime Insiders:

Crime Insiders host and former detective Brent Sanders said: “Transferable skills is something that often police are surprised they actually have.”

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Maskey said his time in the police gave him invaluable negotiation and communication skills.

“That tactical communication, the laser focus on a target and an end goal, and the ability to do the work and have the ethic […] This is what we as police bring to the table,” he said.

Australia’s police force is lacking more than 4,000 officers nationwide, due to a growing number of resignations and increasing workloads.

One day Maskey saw a job advertisement for Beyond Blue. He started a role responsible for connecting first responders with mental health services.

“We drove a world-first study that looked at the mental health prevalence and suicidality of police, and that was so closely aligned to my personal journey that I thought,”

“You know what? Maybe I do have transferable skills.”

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