Leicestershire Police is today saying thank you and farewell to Chief Constable Simon Cole who is retiring after 12 years in the leading role.
Chief Constable Cole, who grew up in Leicestershire, is the current longest service chief constable in the UK after joining the force in 2010.
Chief Constable Simon Cole
He began his career back in 1988 with West Midlands Police working in various uniform and detective roles before joining Hampshire Constabulary as Assistant Chief Constable in September 2003 leading to a promotion to Deputy Chief Constable in 2008.
Over the past few weeks, the Chief Constable has been visiting officers and staff across force ahead of his retirement.
In a farewell message to the force today, he said: “It has been my privilege and good fortune to lead such a talented, committed and caring team. Your work has meant I have had the honour of being Chief Constable of the place where I grew up for over a decade. I have loved it. I am impossibly grateful to you. As I have said before, your acts of bravery, duty and kindness have inspired me every day.
He added: “In my time as Chief, the demands on us have grown, expectations of us have changed, and crime is more complex and challenging. Yet we have kept service to our communities at the centre of what we do.
“Thank you again for your service. Thank you for all the professional and personal support you have given me as Chief. I know for certain you will extend that same care, commitment and counsel to my successor.
From next week, current Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon will serve as Acting Chief Constable of the force while the recruitment process takes place to appoint a new permanent Chief Constable.
Deputy Chief Constable Nixon said: “It has been an honour for the force to have Simon as our leader across the past 12 years and I know I speak on behalf of the whole force, when I say he will be very much missed.
“Thank you Simon - from myself personally and from the force - for your leadership, your guidance, your support and your service. We all wish you a very happy, well-deserved retirement.”
Speaking about taking up the role of Acting Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable Nixon added: “I am very much looking forward to taking up the role and am proud to be leading our dedicated and talented force as we continue to serve our communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland 24/7.”