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Tributes paid for retiring PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin

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Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin

Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin

Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin

Tributes have been paid to outgoing PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin after he announced his retirement.

Mr Martin has served as a police officer for nearly 34 years, both in the RUC and the PSNI.

He said he will retire at the end of January when a new deputy chief constable will be appointed.

Announcing his departure, he said it had been a "huge honour" and a "true privilege" to serve as a police officer.

Mr Martin said: "I will always be grateful for the friendships I have built both within the police service and among the community I have been humbled to serve.

"As I face the next chapter in my life, I am very mindful of the many colleagues and friends who we’ve lost and for whom retirement has been denied. They and their families will always be in my thoughts.

"I am extremely proud to have been part of the journey that policing has made to date; and I know, with the commitment of colleagues and the partnership of the community, we will continue to make Northern Ireland a safer and more confident society.

"I leave with a real sense of optimism for the future and wish all my colleagues well as they continue their vital service to our entire community."

Mr Martin had applied to be the PSNI's chief constable before the post was given to Simon Byrne.

Mr Byrne posted on social media: "Many thanks Stephen for your enormous and positive contribution to Policing in Northern Ireland over the last 34 years, and for your personal support to me over the last six months.

"I wish you and your family my sincere best wishes for a long retirement and for the future."

Justice Minister Naomi Long said: "Over a long and distinguished career in policing, Stephen Martin has made an enormous contribution to the security and safety of the Northern Ireland community.

“In his role as a senior officer, Stephen has been an eloquent advocate for the PSNI, working tirelessly and with integrity to play a crucial role in delivering a professional, high quality policing service for everyone in our society.

“We are all indebted to Stephen for the commitment he has shown over his 34-year career and I wish him well for the future.”

Northern Ireland Policing Board chairperson Professor Anne Connolly thanked Mr Martin for his contributions to policing and service to the community over his career and wished him well for the future.

DUP MLA Mervyn Storey, who sits on the NI Policing Board, also paid tribute.

‘‘In almost 34 years’ service Stephen has served the whole community through the dark days of the Troubles," he said.

"The very real threat of terrorism and more recently alongside the establishment of devolved government in Northern Ireland and new, rising threats to law and order.

"We commend him on this contribution to local policing and wish both him and his family a very happy retirement."

Mr Martin was appointed as temporary deputy chief constable on in August 2018 and was previously responsible for the PSNI's Crime Operations Department.

He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the Birthday Honours list 2013 and he received an OBE in 2018.

Belfast Telegraph