The next Chief Constable… is George Hamilton

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…  Having “unanimously” agreed to appoint Matt Baggott as PSNI Chief Constable in 2009 for his strong advocacy of “community-style policing”, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, or its party political members, might be said to be experiencing buyer’s regret.

Alternatively, those same political parties have undermined the outgoing Chief Constable throughout his tenure by putting their own party political concerns ahead of the ‘greater good’ – by word, and by deed.  [“ahem* – Ed].

ANYhoo… with Matt Baggott announcing his departure earlier this year, the NI Policing Board now faces the prospect of appointing nominating his successor.   And, having rejected the NI Justice Minister’s offer to widen the potential pool of candidates, they now have three different police officers on the shortlist – from which one name will be recommended to the Justice Minister.

Not that we didn’t know the shortlist before the elections, it just wasn’t widely reported at the time…

ANYhoo… [Again?! – Ed]  ANYHOO…  Here is that shortlist again, this time from BBC NI’s Home Affairs Correspondent Vincent Kearney’s report.

Derek Byrne

Dubliner Derek Byrne was appointed assistant commissioner of An Garda Síochána (Irish police) in 2007.

He joined the force in 1979 and served at Clones, County Monaghan and Cabra and Blanchardstown in Dublin.

Promotions to sergeant, inspector, superintendent, chief superintendent followed, before his appointment as an assistant commissioner.

He initially served in the northern region as assistant commissioner, working alongside the PSNI in some investigations before moving to National Support Services in October 2008.

In 2010, Mr Byrne jointly led an internal investigation into allegations of garda misconduct made by the high-profile whistleblower, Sgt Maurice McCabe.

However, earlier this month, an independent review of the force’s handling of Mr McCabe’s allegations criticised Mr Byrne’s report, concluding there was “cause for concern as to the adequacy of the investigation” that he had jointly overseen.

The Guerin Report stated: “There is a sufficient basis for concern as to whether all appropriate steps were taken by An Garda Siochana to investigate and address the specified complaints.”

Mr Byrne is currently completing a masters degree in Violence, Terrorism and Security at Queen’s University Belfast.

He has previously received qualifications from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia; Harvard University, John Jay College, New York and New Scotland Yard anti-terrorist branch.

Cressida Dick

Cressida Dick is an Assistant Commissioner with the Metropolitan Police

Oxford-born Cressida Dick is assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and a recipient of the Queen’s Police Medal.

An Oxford graduate, Ms Dick joined the Metropolitan Police in 1983. Within 10 years she had been promoted to chief inspector.

She completed a Master’s in criminology at Cambridge University, returning to policing in 2001.

She received the specialist ‘shoot-to-kill’ firearms training that qualified her to head terror alert operations in the wake of 7/7.

Her role in the police operation that culminated in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005 attracted criticism, though she was cleared of blame for his death in 2007.

In July 2011, Ms Dick was appointed assistant commissioner, specialist operations. She also held the rank of acting deputy commissioner for a time.

George Hamilton

George Hamilton is an Assistant Chief Constable with the PSNI

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton is currently responsible for District Policing Rural, which covers an area of approximately 11,700 square kilometres of Northern Ireland and a population of approximately 900,000.

He joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1985 and as a detective chief inspector and detective superintendent was involved in a number of high profile investigations.

He was chief superintendent and district commander for south and east Belfast before being appointed assistant chief constable of Strathclyde police in 2009.

He returned to the PSNI in 2011 and also served in England and Wales between 1994 and 1997.

On his return to Northern Ireland in 1997 he became involved with the Patten Commission.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics and Economics and a Masters in Business Administration. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Association.

[Does the bunny get a vote? – Ed]  No.

Update  And, according to the latest BBC report, the next Chief Constable will be former RUC chief superintendent and district commander, and current PSNI assistant chief constable, George Hamilton.

[He’s not… from the Dark Side?! – Ed]  Probably not…

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