West Yorkshire’s elected police chief has confirmed he is to appoint a deputy to assist him.
Police and crime commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson said the recruitment process for the “demanding” role would begin once a new chief constable has been found for the force.
Mr Burns-Williamson said finding a permanent replacement for Sir Norman Bettison was his “first priority”.
The post is currently being advertised for and a short-listing and interviewing process is soon to follow.
“Once the chief constable appointment is made I will look to run a similar process for a deputy police and crime commissioner and to properly scope out what will also be a demanding role,” he said.
Mr Burns-Williamson also confirmed he would soon be standing down as a Labour councillor for Castleford and Glasshoughton to focus on his new role.
“I will be shortly having discussions with Wakefield Council about a date for officially standing down and the winding down and handover of local commitments after serving for 14 years as a local councillor,” he said.
“This is something that I always intended to do if I was elected and I informed colleagues at the council and the local Labour Party well in advance.”
“I always accepted that if elected it would be a very demanding and full-time role, and to continue as a councillor would in my view not be fair to the electors.”
Mr Burns-Williamson waived his monthly allowance from the council when he was elected as commissioner in November and pledged to donate £5,000 of his salary to help victims of crime.
He is the second elected police chief in Yorkshire to announce his intention to hire a deputy, following Humberside PCC Matthew Grove’s controversial appointment of a close political ally to assist him.
Mr Grove has been accused of “cronyism” after hiring fellow East Riding Conservative councillor Paul Robinson to the £45,000-a-year, four-day-a-week job last month against a watchdog’s recommendations.
Mr Grove defended the decision, saying he had “total trust and confidence” in his colleague and urged people to judge him on his results, not the process.
The salary the West Yorkshire deputy will receive has yet to be decided.