The search for a new Chief Constable for the Police Service of Northern Ireland was launched today.
The current chief, Hugh Orde, who narrowly missed out on getting the top job of Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police earlier this year, is leaving Belfast in September to take up the position of President of the Association of Chief Police Officers.
A sign of the changed times in the North is reflected in Sinn Féin’s involvement in the recruitment process.
Assembly member Alex Maskey, the first Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Belfast, is on the seven-member recruitment panel.
The certainty is that the new chief will come from outside the North - no one in the PSNI is eligible to apply for the post.
The criteria say applicants must have held, for at least two years, the post of Chief or Deputy Chief Constable in any force in the UK – or the equivalent rank in the Republic or indeed any European force.
The PSNI deputy chief constable is retiring at the end of this month and his replacement, Judith Gillespie was only appointed yesterday.
Advertisements are appearing in newspapers today and Barry Gilligan, chairman elect of the Policing Board and chair of the appointment panel, said: “We are looking to appoint an officer who will bring exceptional skills and professional ability to this challenging and demanding role.”
He added: “This is a high profile job and we expect there to be significant interest in this job from serving Chief Constables and Deputy chief Constables.”
The salary for the successful candidate will be £183,953 (€210,841) a year plus allowances.