Confirmation hearing - proposed appointment of new Chief Constable

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Virtual meeting
DCC Serena Kennedy

The Police Commissioner's preferred candidate to be the next Chief Constable of Merseyside Police will go before the Police and Crime Panel for a confirmation hearing today (Thursday 18th March).

The Force's current Deputy Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, was chosen by Jane Kennedy as her preferred choice to take over the top role at Merseyside Police following a thorough and rigorous assessment and interview process.

Subject to approval by Merseyside’s Police and Crime Panel, she will replace Andy Cooke QPM when he leaves the role in April 2021 and become the Force’s first ever female Chief Constable.

At the virtual confirmation hearing, which will be live-streamed to enable members of the public to observe, DCC Kennedy will go before Panel members who will review the recruitment and selection process, assess the supporting documents and interview her before giving their view.

The panel, which is made up of elected and independent members from across Merseyside, has the power to either ratify or veto the PCC's preferred candidate.

Serena, who joined Merseyside Police in 2017 as Assistant Chief Constable, was chosen as the PCC’s preferred choice following an interview process led by the Commissioner and supported by an experienced panel, made up of senior representatives from policing, politics, local government and health.

During the assessment, the candidates were interviewed and required to give a presentation to the panel which comprised the Police Commissioner, the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and former Chair of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Dame Sara Thornton, the former Chief Executive of the College of Policing and HM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham, the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, St Helens Council’s Chief Executive Kath O’Dwyer and the Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Professor David Lalloo.

The candidates also took part in a mock media exercise which tested their communication skills, leadership and cultural and political astuteness and sensitivity through two challenging scenarios.

The Commissioner made the announcement that Serena was her preferred choice for the consideration of Merseyside's Police and Crime Panel and may become Merseyside Police's first ever female Chief Constable on International Women's Day.

If confirmed by the Panel, Serena will take up her appointment as Chief Constable when the current Chief, Andy Cooke QPM, leaves the Force in April to join Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

Due to the current restrictions around gathering in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, this meeting will be held virtually.

If you would like to observe proceedings, please visit the Knowsley Council YouTube channel.