Chief Constable is knighted in New Year honours
Three members of West Midlands Police have received awards in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, including our Chief Constable Dave Thompson who is knighted.
Mr Thompson becomes a Sir in recognition of his services to policing over a 30 year career spanning Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and West Midlands Police.
The 51-year-old father-of-two - who joined us in 2010 as Deputy Chief Constable before taking the top job six years later - said he was “genuinely humbled" to have been honoured.
He said: “When I saw the nomination I thought about my grandparents and the lives and opportunities they had. Were they alive they would struggle to imagine that a member of their family only two generations on could have been awarded this honour.
“This has been possible because of the support of my family, specifically my parents, my wife and our children. Like any police family Carole and my girls have made sacrifices for policing.
“It has also been possible because of policing and the people in it. I owe policing everything.
“A job where every constable can rise to be the Chief Constable. A service full of amazing diverse people who have taught me so much. Everyday officers and staff in this force put themselves at great peril for the public and I am humbled I get to work with you all. Thank you.
“The greatest honour of my life has been to be a police officer and then to be the Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police. Nothing can ever beat this but this is a lovely recognition for policing."
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “I’m delighted for all of the officers at West Midlands Police who have been honoured for their achievements by the Queen. It is thoroughly deserved.
“Perhaps most notable is the knighthood for our Chief Constable who has had a long and distinguished career in policing.
“I appointed Dave Thompson in 2016 to run West Midlands Police because he stood out as someone who possessed the rare qualities needed to handle one of the toughest jobs in the country.
“I’m pleased for him and his family, given the sacrifices they’ve both made, that his achievements have been recognised in this way."
The New Year list also sees our Detective Chief Inspector Jennifer Pearson receive a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) and Mick Braycotton from our Traffic Investigations Unit collect a British Empire Medal.
Jennifer co-ordinated the regional response to CoVID-19 deaths, including the temporary mortuary at Birmingham Airport and working with faith groups and the Coroner to ensure victims were treated with dignity in line with religious needs.
In 2004, she was seconded to Thailand to help the international police commander develop a network of mortuaries in the aftermath of the tsunami - and that experience proved invaluable earlier this year.
Jennifer has also been instrumental in driving change in the justice system for survivors of domestic abuse. The project, working alongside the Police & Crime Commissioner’s office, aims to offer victims greater support through the court process.
She also belongs to Soroptimist International, a women’s voluntary group that works to improve the lives of under-privileged women and girls locally, nationally and globally, through education and empowerment initiatives.
During the first CoVID-19 lockdown the group made 100s of washbags for nurses at local hospitals to bring home potentially contaminated uniforms for washing and created knitted hearts for bereaved families.
She said: “I joined West Midlands Police to make a difference. That’s what inspires me every day as a police officer plus my volunteering as a Soroptimist. I work with some amazing people which makes the job easier!
“It’s a proud moment for me to be recognised with a Queen’s Police Medal."
British Empire Medal recipient Mick Braycotton recently retired from West Midlands Police (for a second time!) after a distinguished career spanning 45 years.
He joined the force as a 20-year-old beat officer in Handsworth before moving into the 999 call centre and latterly the motorway police control room.
Mick, now 65, retired as an officer after 30 years’ service but didn’t have his feet up for long. He returned a few weeks later as a police staff member working in our anti-corruption department before finishing his WMP service in the Traffic Prosecutions Unit.
Mick was also Secretary of the force’s Disability & Carers Community and acted as Vice President of the Disable Police Association.
He was influential in helping the force achieve Disability Confident Leader status in 2018 - the highest level an organisation can achieve under the scheme run by the Department of Work and Pensions.
The award recognises inclusive employers whose policies and procedures are disability friendly and who comply with the requirements of the Equalities Act.
We were only the second police force in the country to receive the recognition - and the first metropolitan force. And that achievement is in no small part down to Mick.