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Breaking Ranks

An Amazing True Story of a Cop on the Line

Joe Noonan’s 10 years in the Victoria Police culminated in being seconded onto the Investigation Team for the double slaying of two young policemen in Walsh Street South Yarra. The 1980s in Victoria were some of the most tumultuous years in Australia’s policing history. These stories give a vivid insight into the mind of a most different sort of crime fighter. A straight shooter who doesnt pull any punches and takes more than his fair share. His humour is at times irreverent and almost always self-deprecating but provides a front seat to some of the most dangerous and confronting stories you have read. His real-life description of both events and those involved create a channel to the past without losing any relevance to the present. His uniform years are peppered with some of the most hilarious, tragic and confronting stories of his life on the front line. His rapid rise to detective opened up new levels of danger, controversy and unbelievable tales of policing. Being in the thick of numerous police shootings including Jedd Houghton and Gary Abdullah, living through the aftermath of the Graeme Jensen shooting and life within the Walsh Street Task Force into the reprisal shootings of Constable Tynan and Eyre, Joe Noonan tells his story like none before.

Joe Noonan joined the Police Academy in 1981. He progressed through uniform to CIB as the youngest detective that year, passed Detective Training School in 1986 and passed a special sitting of the Sergeants Exams after Walsh Street Task Force. He worked at City West, D24, St Kilda, St Kilda Special Duties, Fitzroy CIB, CIB Major Crime Squad and then seconded to Homicide Task Force for Walsh Street. He resigned after finishing Walsh Street and going back to Major Crime. Joe has also worked in senior management of security and emergency response before moving back into Territory Management for Construction and Heavy Equipment Sales.

* A riveting new title for true crime readers, anyone involved in the law including police, legal fraternity, government and the general public who enjoy a good story that can make them laugh and a cry. * Joe shares his story as an ordinary copper who was involved in extraordinary events, both tragic and sometimes farcical. His book reveals the inner workings of the police force in the turbulent times of the 1980s in Australia. * Explores the largely undiscussed and unseen mental health issues often experienced by those who serve and wear a badge and uniform. * Follows the anniversary of the Walsh Street Police shootings of 12 October 1988, covered in the book. * The book will be featured in The Herald Sun and affiliates, The Australian Police Journal, The Age and affiliates including interviews, reviews and extracts. * Publicised with the Victoria Police Association national and international members, including 50,000 members in Australia alone. * To be featured on Andrew Rule’s Herald Sun podcast Life and Crimes with Andrew Rule.


  • The Herald Sun - Andrew Rule article this weekend 27th or 28th Feb
  • Life and Crimes with Andrew Rule Podcast 2.1K - interview yesterday 25/2 – will send link when available
  • Andrew Rule organising 3AW & Triple M interview – in progress, TBA
  • 3AW Darren James interview scheduled for Sat 6/3
  • Emily Webb True Crime podcast – 1 million listeners – this is an exclusive interview, Joe has completed the interview on Mon 22/2 & the episode will be scheduled in 2-3 weeks will advise date, time and link when available
  • John Sylvester, The Age & true crime author - interview in progress, will share article when available.
  • Norm Beaman formerly Channel 7, in progress TBA
  • Sarah Harman – Crime reporter Sunraysia Daily Mildura, interview with Joe, article published 24/2

“An absolute page turner giving great insight and context to a tumultuous time in Victoria Police history. War stories told in a way that make you feel you’re in the room sharing riveting yarns, laughs and awe inspiring anecdotes with mates over a few frothies! I absolutely loved reading these accounts from a bygone era and told in such a riveting way. A great read and highly recommended”. Senior Constable Zorb Safak, Mildura Police Station

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