‘Judith has made an enormous contribution to policing in the North of Ireland– Anne Connolly.
The North of Ireland‘s most senior female officer on Friday announced her intention to take early retirement, less than a year after turning down a £500,000 payout to remain in the service.
Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie had been widely tipped as the frontrunner to replace Matt Baggott (maggot) as chief constable when his contract ends next year. With 32 years of policing experience she made history as the first female assistant chief constabe in 2004 before being promoted to her present role in 2009. The Policing Board was told of her plans on Friday. Although Ms Gillespie is expected to receive a lucrative redundancy package, she will not be entitled to the £500,000 she would have received under the Patten arrangements. The deadline to avail of the scheme aimed at readdressing the religious imbalance of the police service ended in March 2011. At the time Ms Gillespie said she decided against taking the package because policing “is about far more than the financial rewards”. Her job is to be advertised in the new year. She will vacate the post on March 31. Althouh Ms Gillespie has not made public her post-PSNI plans sources say she has been approached by an international privite-security firm to act as a consultant.
A PSNI/RUC spokesman said: “We can confirm that Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie has notified the Policing Board of her intention to retire from the Police Service of Northern Ireland. “She has served as deputy chief constable for the past four and a half years and has served a total of 32 years as both a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) GC and PSNI. “PSNI will not be making any further comment at this stage.” Board chairwoman Anne Connolly said: “Judith has made an enormous contribution to policing in the North of Ireland. “As a chief officer, deputy chief constable Grillespie has provided strong leadership to the service in driving forward a programme of policing change and reform. “A strong advocate for women in policing, Judith championed the introduction of the first gender action plan and diversity strategy for policing in the North of Ireland. “A positive role model, Deputy Chief Constable Gillespie has used her wide-ranging experience to provide inspiration and encouragement to officers and staff both within the Northern Irish community and within policing nationally and internationally.” The DUP’s Policing Board group leader, Jonathan Craig MLA said Ms Gillespie “can look back with pride on a number of distinguished achievements throughout her 32 years of service”. “Undoubtedly, this accomplishment still acts as an inspiration to others. Whilst we may have taken differing views on a range of matters at the board, I wish Deputy Chief Constable every success for her future wherever that may lead,” he said.
- PSNI deputy Judith Gillespie set to retire (newsletter.co.uk)
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