STAFFORDSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis has announced Jane Sawyers as his preferred candidate for Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police.
The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Police and Crime Panel but, if confirmed, it will see Mrs Sawyers take on the permanent role having served as temporary Chief Constable since August 2014.
The Commissioner set out a rigorous selection process including inviting pre-selection applications, questioning by leaders from local authorities in Staffordshire and a professional competency assessment.
The process concluded with a formal panel interview where the Commissioner invited Staffordshire’s Lord Lieutenant, the former Chair of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Boards, the Chief Executive of the National College of Policing and the Commissioner’s Chief of Staff to join him in questioning Mrs Sawyers.
There was also independent specialist technical support from the Head of Human Resources for Staffordshire County Council. She has produced an independent report on the process, and Mrs Sawyers’ performance, that the Police and Crime Panel will also use to inform their support or otherwise of the PCC’s decision.
Mr Ellis said: “Jane Sawyers has performed well as interim Chief Constable. It is clear to me she has the attributes needed to be an effective Chief Constable, particularly at a time of such fast-moving change in Staffordshire Police.
“It is also a tremendous bonus that we have established a good and effective working relationship with broad agreement on how we want to see policing evolve and improve across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
“Whilst there was interest nationally, Mrs Sawyers was the only person to file a formal application meaning it was even more important that the process was challenging and comprehensive. Mrs Sawyers was also clear that if doubts emerged at any point during the process I would have no hesitation in re-advertising the role.
“Staffordshire is in a strong position, possibly best placed nationally, for the future and strong leadership will continue to be needed operationally within the police here to deliver the game-changing level of transformation that we have set out over the next few years.
“Jane Sawyers is the right person to do that and I have today informed the Police and Crime Panel that she is my preferred appointment.”
The Police and Crime Panel will be asked to confirm or veto the appointment when they meet on Monday 8 June.