Ex-cop, Former NRL Star, Justin Poore Speaks Out After Being Stood Down from NSW Police Over Vaccine

By Jack Evans

An ex-cop and former State of Origin star says he’s been “treated worse than a criminal” after being stood down over the Covid-19 vaccine.

Former NRL player turned cop Justin Poore found himself all but begging for his job back as he and dozens of former NSW police colleagues seek to overturn a vaccine-based sacking.

Poore once donned jerseys for the Dragons, the Eels, and the NSW Blues in the State of Origin.

Poore once signed a $1m contract when moving from the Dragons to the Eels in 2012.

Now, he has spoken out about his contentious dismissal from the NSW Police Force over Covid-19 vaccination mandates.

“It’s been hard,” Poore told A Current Affair, at times through tears, on Thursday night.

“I’ve been treated worse than a criminal.”

Poore’s employment with the NSW police force was abruptly halted in 2021 when he was among 55 officers dismissed for refusing to comply with the vaccination mandate.

Recounting his ordeal, Poore explained the toll it took on his mental health, spiralling into a severe depression for two years, often struggling to even get out of bed.

“I loved being a cop,” Poore said.

The catalyst for Poore’s dismissal was his refusal to adhere to the vaccine mandate.

“I started to ask questions,” he explained.

“No one could answer my questions, no one could tell me what was in it, and they couldn’t tell me any long-term data that they had on it, and I didn’t want to take the risk.”

Former NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller’s directive mandated vaccination for all officers.

Those who refused were dismissed under section 181D of the Police Act, a measure typically reserved for severe misconduct.

Indeed, accused double murderer and former NSW Police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon was removed from the force under Section 181D.

Poore and others faced dire consequences.

Poore played for the St George Illawarra Dragons, Parramatta Eels and even had a State of Origin call-up.

Poore played for the St George Illawarra Dragons, Parramatta Eels and even had a State of Origin call-up.

“This is used to remove corrupt police officers, people that forge subpoenas, people that steal money, people that steal drugs,” Poore added.

Poore highlighted the challenges former officers face in securing alternative employment due to the stigma attached to their dismissal.

“Not only am I classified as a ‘corrupt police officer’, it’s ruined any job prospects that I wanted to have,” Poore lamented.

“You’re untouchable, no one is going to touch you.”

Despite his qualifications as a plumber, which enable him to provide for his family, Poore remains resolute in his desire to reclaim his position in the force.

He views the recruitment of unvaccinated officers juxtaposed with his dismissal as “vindictive.”

The NSW Police issued a statement, defending their actions and reaffirming the legality of the directive.

According to the statement, officers who failed to comply with the lawful direction were subject to removal under section 181D, with no avenue for reappointment. Those who resigned prior to breaching the mandate were eligible for reconsideration.

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Original source: https://www.news.com.au/sport/nrl/excop-former-nrl-star-justin-poore-speaks-out-after-being-stood-down-from-nsw-police-over-vaccine/news-story/05e4cb2eef77c3a9932e5b4d4bc226da