Belfast Telegraph

Harris appointed to police role

Drew Harris has been appointed as Northern Ireland's new Deputy Chief Constable, it has been confirmed.

Anne Connelly, chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board who led the appointment panel said: "He brings immense experience and knowledge of policing to the job and will have a key role in supporting the Chief Constable and colleagues in leading the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) forward."

Mr Harris, an Assistant Chief Constable with the PSNI, was one of two applicants for the job which became available when Judith Gillespie, the highest ranking female officer, retired in March.

Ms Connelly said: "I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the unsuccessful candidate for their interest in the post and also Temporary Deputy Chief Constable (Alistair) Finlay for his work over the last number of months."

Justice Minister David Ford has offered his congratulations.

He said: "Drew brings a wealth of experience to the role with over 30 years of service as well as an understanding of policing in Northern Ireland and the challenges facing the PSNI.

"This is a significant time for the PSNI with a new leadership team in place and the two top posts filled within a matter of months."

Yesterday the Policing Board rejected claims that the recruitment process had been compromised.

Sinn Fein MLA Caitriona Ruane withdrew from the selection panel and called for a new selection process to begin.

However Mr Ford said he was content to approve the appointment having sought assurances from the Policing Board chair and chief executive.

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