Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has today released an open letter to Chief Constable Andy Cooke QPM on his final day in post, thanking him for his exceptional public service over nearly 36 years:
Andy Cooke QPM,
Friday 9th April 2021
I write as your term of office as Chief Constable of Merseyside Police is coming to an end to thank you for your exceptional public service. For nearly 36 years you have been committed to driving excellence in policing on behalf of the communities of Merseyside, setting the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct and you have been a true ambassador for our region.
Although your career has been described often in recent days, it bears repeating that you have served with distinction at every rank, honing your skills tackling serious and organised crime while overseeing the robbery squad and targeted operations at the Major Crime Unit. This gave you the experience and insight to set up Merseyside’s nationally-recognised Matrix unit, who continue to this day to be at the very forefront of the fight against gun and gang crime.
For a short time you left the force to take on a leadership role as ACC at Lancashire Constabulary before returning to Merseyside four years later at the same rank and quickly being promoted to Deputy Chief Constable. Three years later you became Chief Constable.
From there on you have led the fight against serious and organised crime, as the National Police Chiefs’ Council business lead in this crucial area of policing, and the Home Secretary’s closest professional advisor on these issues.
Your qualities have also been recognised more formally through commendations on no less than 10 separate occasions and when you received the Queen’s Police Medal in 2014.
As Chief Constable you have lead the Force through some of the most difficult and potentially demoralising times ever faced by the police service. The Government’s austerity programme forced some exceptionally difficult decisions on you, but in spite of this you have been an outstanding leader, professional and clear-sighted, and one who has truly embodied your own motto for the force: ‘Community First’. A motto which I believe will continue to carry the Force forward to the benefit of officers, staff but most particularly the public.
You have spoken often, and with great passion, of your pride at leading your local Force. Thanks to your first-class leadership of Merseyside Police it remains a Force of whose professional achievements you can be justifiably proud. It is continually graded as the best performing urban force in the country by Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary and that is, in great part, due to your vision, integrity and determination to make the Force the very best that it be can.
I am very pleased that you are going on to play what will be a very significant role, continuing to drive the professionalism of policing across England and Wales.
I offer you my heartfelt thanks for your service over the last 36 years and wish you every success and happiness in your future endeavours.
All best wishes,
Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside
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