[T]he two most senior police officers in Cumbria will receive the Queen’s Police Medal in recognition of their contributions to policing.
Chief Constable Jerry Graham and Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Skeer were included in the New Year’s Honours List 2018.
Chief Constable Jerry Graham: CC Jerry Graham joined the police service in 1985, transferring to Cumbria Constabulary in June 2009 as Assistant Chief Constable.
During his time at Cumbria Constabulary he has lead on the police response to some of the most significant events in Cumbria’s recent history. He was the Gold Commander during the flooding in 2009, when PC Bill Barker tragically lost his life. He was also the Gold Commander during the shootings in West Cumbria in 2012.
He has been praised by the independent inspectorate for police (HMICFRS) for his style of leadership.
CC Graham’s citation describes him as “genuine and approachable”, and “highly respected and well regarded” throughout the force and with colleagues nationally.
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said: “Chief Constable Jeremy Graham has given decades of service to local policing and played an important role in response to major incidents, such as flooding in West Cumbria. It is fitting that his dedication and commitment is honoured with a Queen’s Police Medal.”
Commenting on the award, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “I am delighted that Chief Constable Jerry Graham has been recognised in this way for his outstanding and dedicated service to policing in Cumbria – it is richly deserved. I am very proud that the two most senior police officers in Cumbria have both been recognised in such a distinguished way.”
Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Skeer: DCC Michelle Skeer joined Cumbria Constabulary as a PC in 1990 in Whitehaven. She has worked across uniform and detective roles during her time, culminating in her in her current role as DCC.
She has worked tirelessly to increase and retain women in policing, through a number of initiatives and policy changes, including supporting flexible working. The number of women working in Cumbria Constabulary has increased from 24% in 2006 to 40% in 2015.
DCC Skeer is the national lead for the Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders, which is a very high profile and high-risk area of business.
Her citation describes her “passion and commitment to both personal and professional development”, and states that her “colleagues and community hold her with both affection and high esteem alike.”
DCC Skeer was Cumbria Constabulary Gold Commander for the 2015 Floods – Storm Desmond.
Chief Constable Jerry Graham said: “I am delighted for Michelle in earning this recognition for her distinguished service to the public of Cumbria.”
Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said: “I am honoured to be recognised in this way.”
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said: “Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Skeer has served Cumbria Constabulary with determination and leadership. Her contribution to the force, particularly in terms of increasing representation of women in policing, is to be commended and she is a deserving recipient of the Queen’s Police Medal.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “I would like to offer my personal congratulations to Mrs Skeer for this well-deserved award in recognition of the significant contribution she has made to the policing service in Cumbria. I am very proud that the two most senior police officers in Cumbria have both been recognised in such a distinguished way.”