18/05/2004

First female PSNI Assistant Chief Constable appointed

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has announced the appointment of Northern Ireland's first female Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Chief Superintendent Judith Gillespie, 41, a serving officer in the PSNI has been Acting Assistant Chief Constable since October 2003 is the first female officer to be appointed Assistant Chief Constable to the Police Service of Northern Ireland by the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

Chairman of the NI Policing Board Professor Desmond Rea, said: “We are delighted that Mrs Gillespie has accepted the appointment and will be substantively joining the senior officer team of the PSNI. The Board panel was faced with the challenging task of making a selection from candidates all with a depth of policing experience and expertise in a range of areas.”

The Policing Board, which is responsible for ensuring an effective and efficient police service, accountable to the Northern Ireland community, said that the Assistant Chief Constables play a critical role in the overall management of the organisation.

Professor Rea said: “Assistant Chief Constables provide a key role in the delivery of the policing service here, and the experience Mrs Gillespie has obtained throughout her policing career and more recently as Acting Assistant Chief Constable will be of benefit to her in the future. A strong senior officer team is now in place to continue to lead the PSNI forward and deliver an effective policing service to the whole community in Northern Ireland”.

“The Chief Constable is responsible for organising his senior officer team and the Board looks forward to working closely with Mrs Gillespie in the future,” Professor Rea concluded.

In 2003 Mrs Gillespie became the first female officer from the former RUC, now PSNI, to attend the Strategic Command Course (SCC) at Bramshill.

On successful completion of this course Mrs Gillespie returned to be appointed Acting Assistant Chief Constable heading up the newly established Criminal Justice Department.

Welcoming her appointment, Mrs Gillespie said, “I am absolutely delighted with the appointment and looking forward to working with the Board and the PSNI Command Team in facing the challenges ahead”.

Mrs Gillespie has 22 years experience in the police service progressing steadily through the ranks, in 1997 she was promoted Chief Inspector and appointed Co-ordinator of Child Abuse and Rape Enquiry (CARE) a post which she occupied until promotion to Superintendent, Head of Drugs Squad in 1999.

A panel of six Board Members interviewed the three candidates today for the post that is subject to the approval of the Secretary of State.

(SP)

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