South Africa has lost one of its finest and most senior female police officers. Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan was one of the two women sadly killed in a horrific crash at Urrbrae.
Joanne was a passenger in a Holden SUV, driven by her husband Peter at the time of the crash, who is also a retired police detective and is currently the General Counsel for SAPOL in a senior legal leadership role. Thankfully Peter escaped serious injuries and has been released from hospital.
Joanne is survived by Peter and her two adult children.
Joanne joined SAPOL in 1981 and was a highly respected member of SAPOL. In 2002 she was promoted to the rank of Inspector and worked in many areas of SAPOL from CIB, specialist crime areas and Domestic Violence. In 2013 she was integral to the development of the Multi Agency Protection Service (MAPS), leading the cross-government project team from concept stage to implementation in 2014 when she was appointed as the inaugural Officer in Charge of the Family and Domestic Violence Branch. She was also well known in the local Greek community.
Joanne’s most recent role was a significant one where she played a leadership role in the Police Operation Centre for SAPOL’s response to the COVID-19 virus situation.
Not only have we lost a beautiful person but also an officer with a wealth of knowledge – Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan leaves an overwhelming footprint on SAPOL having received the Australian Police Medal in 2019 for her outstanding service to the organisation and to the community of South Australia.
SAPOL are not the only family to have lost someone in this tragic crash, there is another family feeling just as much pain as us and that is the family of Tania McNeill. Here is a statement from her family.
Yesterday afternoon we lost our beloved Tania at the age of 53. Tania is survived by her husband, son, parents and sister.
Tania was a loving vibrant lady who enjoyed a good laugh. She was a kind and loving mother, wife, daughter and sister who would do anything for anyone. She will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Tania worked extremely hard in her day job as well and helping out with the family business.
Words cannot describe the pain our family are feeling at this time. Tania’s loss will be deeply felt by so many forever.