Acting Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes has been confirmed in the role permanently today.
The Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel has ratified the appointment by the Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick, of Mr Rhodes as chief constable.
Mr Rhodes, who was the only person to apply for the role, was suspended in January by Mr Hardwick for allegedly mishandling the employment tribunal of a lawyer from another force. He was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing in an independent inquiry and reinstated.
The police officer joined the county force as a constable in 1986 and left in 2001 on promotion to Humberside before moving to Cumbria as assistant chief constable and returned to the force in 2008 as deputy chief constable.
Mr Rhodes said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed as chief.
“After five years away in Humberside and Cumbria, being appointed deputy chief constable here in Lincolnshire in 2008 was like coming home for me.”
“The chief’s job really is the icing on the cake and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my career making Lincolnshire Police and the service we deliver the very best I possibly can.”
Of the suspension and reinstatement, Mr Rhodes said: “That’s very much behind me now and when I picked up the reins of the chief’s job again back in April I was determined to build a strong and productive working relationship with the commissioner and his staff.
“I think we’ve achieved that and the force goes from strength to strength now. The officers and staff are really delivering for us with continuing reductions in crime - whilst other areas of the country struggle; and there is an improving picture in terms of detecting and resolving crime.
“I take my hat off to everyone when you consider all this is being done with 10 per cent fewer officers than we had two years ago.”
On financial issues he said that the good news was that the force had balanced its books for the next two years.
Mr Rhodes said: “I’m confident that we can sustain 1,100 officers and 149 PCSOs – and we’ve done that in probably the toughest circumstances in the country,”
He said. “Working closely with the commissioner we now need to make sure we get a fair deal for Lincolnshire from the Government in the years ahead.”
Mr Hardwick said: “As far as I am concerned when partnerships work, policing works. I am talking about partnerships on a local, and regional and national level and probably the most important partnership for policing is the partnership between the police and crime commissioner and the chief constable so I am delighted that the Police and Crime Panel have given the green light to my recommendation that Neil Rhodes be appointed the new chief constable of Lincolnshire.
“Neil and I can continue the professional partnership which we have had for quite some time now and I know that both of us are looking to 2014 with great confidence and optimism.”