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Merseyside PCC announces preferred candidate for next chief

Merseyside?s PCC Jane Kennedy has today (8 March) announced the current Deputy Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, is her preferred choice to be the next Chief Constable of Merseyside Police.
Published - 08/03/2021 By - Chloe Livadeas

DCC Kennedy will replace the current Chief Constable, Andy Cooke QPM, when he leaves the role next month to join Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

DCC Kennedy, who joined from Cheshire Constabulary to Merseyside Police in 2017 as Assistant Chief Constable, will now go before the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel for a confirmation hearing on 18 March.

The panel has the power to veto the Police and Crime Commissioner's choice, but there must be a two thirds majority of the panel to do so.

She began her career in neighbourhood policing at Greater Manchester Police, before working her way up to the rank of Inspector.

In 2008, she was promoted to Detective Chief Inspector with the Major Incident Team.

After two years in this role, she moved back into a uniformed role as Superintendent in charge of partnerships and local, before then returning to the Serious Crime Division as Detective Superintendent. She then transferred on promotion to Cheshire Constabulary as Head of Public Protection, before joining the Chief Officer team at Merseyside Police four years ago.

PCC Kennedy said: “Serena is an exceptional officer who has done an excellent job here in Merseyside as Assistant Chief Constable and as the Force’s first ever female Deputy Chief Constable. 

“She has a wealth of operational experience and has demonstrated clear strategic leadership both as Deputy and through this assessment process.

“I am delighted that she will be my preferred choice for the consideration of Merseyside’s Police and Crime Panel and also that I can publish on International Women’s Day, that Merseyside Police may have their first ever female Chief Constable.

“Andy Cooke has been an outstanding leader and a dedicated servant to the public of Merseyside. It will be a sad day when he leaves the Force in April, but I have no doubt that, if the Police and Crime Panel are content, Serena is the best person to step into those shoes and continue to ensure Merseyside Police remains one of the top performing police forces in the country.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Serena is an exceptional candidate and I am sure that, subject to the decision of Merseyside’s Police and Crime Panel, she will do a fantastic job as Chief Constable.  As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s particularly appropriate that Merseyside Police are set to have their first female Chief Constable.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to Andy Cooke who has been an excellent Chief Constable and has worked tirelessly for the people of Merseyside.  I wish him the best of luck in his new role.”

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