POLICE and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia Bill Longmore has praised the force’s chief constable David Shaw’s ‘exceptional leadership’ following his announcement he will retire later this year.
Mr Shaw, who has led the force since August 2011, joined West Mercia as Deputy Chief Constable in 2008 following many years service with the West Midlands force in a number of roles.
The responsibility of selecting Mr Shaw’s replacement will fall to who replaces Mr Longmore as the next Police and Crime Commissioner with an election taking place on May 5.
Ch Con Shaw, who intends to retire on July 31, said: “It has been an extraordinary privilege to have been part of two teams looking after the communities of West Midlands and West Mercia policing areas.
“Even after 36 years as a police officer, it is impossible to describe the sense of pride and admiration for what officers and staff achieve every single day. Their courage, humanity and desire to do the right thing remain inspiring.
“The eight years I have had with West Mercia have been amongst the toughest but also happiest of my service.
“The successes we have delivered together have only been possible with the outstanding support of colleagues of every role and rank, the energy, skill and tenacity of the Chief Officer Team, my colleagues in Warwickshire Police and of course Bill Longmore, the Police and Crime Commissioner.
“I will be leaving with a feeling of genuine affection for this force, the people I work with and the area I serve.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia Mr Longmore said Ch Cons Shaw ranked as one of the best officers he has worked with.
“Throughout decades in policing I have worked with many Chief Constables, and David Shaw is right up there with the very best,” he said.
“He has shown exceptional leadership, during what has been a very difficult period for police forces everywhere. He has handled everything that has come his way, and always maintained his focus on the things that matter most.”
“Wherever I have been, and whoever I have spoken to, it has been clear that David is very well respected by his fellow officers, police partners, and the wider community”.
“I understand that the introduction of PCCs was a subject of uncertainty for many Chief Constables, but I have enjoyed an excellent relationship with David, based on mutual respect and understanding. I think that secure footing has enabled us to make some big improvements and meet a number of key challenges. I will be very sad to see him leave, but wish him the very best for the future.”