Belfast Telegraph

Barack Obama's G8 souvenir for former police chief Matt Baggott

By Michael McHugh

US President Barack Obama gave Northern Ireland's former chief police officer a silver paperweight in recognition of the G8 policing operation.

The policing bill was around £50m after the leaders of the world's most powerful economies held a summit at the Lough Erne resort in Enniskillen.

Around 10,000 police officers were on duty during the two-day event, although there was no trouble.

Details of the gift from the world's most powerful man to retired PSNI chief constable Sir Matt Baggott in June 2013 were revealed in the service's records.

"Gift in acknowledgement of G8 Summit policing operation," it said.

It said the benefit to the policing organisation was fostering relationships with the US government.

Sir Matt retired from the job last year after five years at the helm. The devout Christian was an advocate of community policing. PSNI records show that he appeared as a guest speaker at a series of church events and received cheques which were deposited in a charity account.

They included the Presbyterian and Elim Churches and the Church of Ireland. The totals varied, but ranged between £30 and £350.

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