Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy has been awarded the King’s Police Medal (KPM) in the King’s Birthday Honours.
Serena became Chief Constable of Merseyside Police in April 2021 after joining the force from Cheshire Police as an Assistant Chief Constable in 2017.
She has served as a police officer for 30 years and is committed to providing the public of Merseyside with a professional and effective policing service that puts our communities at the heart of everything it does.
The KPM recognises her long-term commitment to policing throughout her career, which started at Greater Manchester Police in 1993.
It also recognises the regional work that Serena undertook for Merseyside Police as both Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Constable leading the co-ordinated local response during the Covid pandemic, which included various partners from Public Health England, each of the five local authorities, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service.
As head of the Strategic Coordination Group Serena was able to ensure a coordinated approach to tackling regional issues, which arose as a result of the spread of the virus, offering reassurance to the public and “paving the way for crucial national pilots such as local community smart testing in the early days of the pandemic that undoubtedly contributed to public safety.”
Serena is also recognised for driving improvements in wellbeing for officers and staff across the force, which is seen as best practice nationally. This work has included the introduction of one of the first clinical psychologists into the Occupational Health department to support officer wellbeing, particularly following tragic and traumatic events.
The citation recognises some of the challenges faced by the Chief Constable including the bombing at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and the fatal stabbing of 12-year-old Ava White, both in November 2021, and her leadership and public reassurance following those tragic events.
Chief Constable Kennedy, said, “It is an absolute honour to have been awarded the King’s Police Medal, but I firmly believe that this isn’t about me – it’s about the hard work put in by officers, staff & volunteers across Merseyside which ensures that Merseyside Police is still one of the best performing forces in the country.
“I am so proud to be the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police and lead such professional, dedicated, passionate staff who are committed to putting the communities of Merseyside first.
“It is them that I want to thank for me being recognised with this award.
“I have been really fortunate to have found a career that I love and I am passionate about making sure that the service we deliver keeps the public safe and deals with criminals, particularly those involved in Serious Organised Crime, who make the lives of decent people in our communities miserable.
“I have been privileged throughout my career to have worked for, and with, amazing colleagues and partners, who have passed on their learning which in turn has helped me to develop and help others.
“I never dreamt of becoming a Chief Constable when I first joined the police and I know that I am now in a fortunate position where I can influence and drive the way we police in the years to come.
“As Chief Constable I am very clear that the communities of Merseyside deserve to have a police service that they can have trust and confidence in that will deliver an effective and efficient service that will relentlessly pursue and bring to justice those offenders who exploit the vulnerable impacting on the quality of lives of all, we must work to prevent crime occurring in the first place and also protect our communities.
“It is vital that our officers understand their communities and issues so we can look at how we can work together to prevent crime in our local areas rather than being reactive.
“Prevention of crime is a vital component of keeping our communities safe and for me a real measure of success will be our ability to drive down crime through good preventative policing measures, alongside traditional enforcement methods.
“I am very proud of the achievements of the officers and staff who make Merseyside Police the fantastic force it is, and I see that this award is as much for them as it is for me.”
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “My warmest congratulations go to Serena on this fantastic and hugely well-deserved King’s Policing Medal.
“Serena became Chief Constable just a month before I started in post and since then we’ve worked closely together to build a safer, stronger Merseyside. During that time, I’ve been continually impressed with the way Serena has led Merseyside Police; with drive, determination, and a genuine commitment to putting our communities first.
“Her expertise and collaborative leadership style were critical when our region faced times of real challenge, such as the pandemic, the explosion at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital and in the wake of Ava White’s tragic murder.
“As Merseyside’s first female Chief Constable, she is also a brilliant role model to young women across our region.
“I’m pleased her hard work and dedication has been recognised today with a King’s Policing Medal and I would like to thank her personally for her contribution to policing and all she has done for the people of Merseyside.”