Commissioner Atkinson served as the Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service for 12 years from 2000 until his retirement in October 2012. In a 44-year career with the Queensland Police Service, he served throughout Queensland from Goondiwindi to Cairns. He was a detective for approximately 20 years and acted as the police prosecutor in various Magistrates Courts during this period.
Commissioner Atkinson oversaw reforms after the Fitzgerald inquiry from 1990 as well as the Public Sector Management Commission Review and Report Recommendations of the Queensland Police Service in 1993.
Commissioner Atkinson was sworn in as Constable on 30 October 1968 and began a 44-year career with the Queensland Police Service where he performed a wide range of operational and managerial roles. In 1989 he attended the three-month FBI National Academy Course at Quantico, Virginia USA. He again attended the FBI Academy during 2002 for the National Executive Institute Program.
Commissioner Atkinson has a wide range of interests and related memberships with a number of organisations. Those interests include road safety and multiculturalism.
Awarded an Australian Police Medal in 1995 and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in January 2013
FBI National Academy Programme and Associated Certificate in Criminal Justice Education, University of Virginia
Graduate Certificate in Police Management, Charles Sturt University
Police Executive Leadership Programme, Australian Institute of Police Management
FBI National Academy National Executive Institute Programme
Honorary Doctorate, Griffith University
Action taken since appointment
As a result of his appointment as a Commissioner of the Royal Commission, Commissioner Atkinson has stood down from his role as Co-Patron of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.