YEP Says, July 10: ‘Parachuted’ police chiefs idea suffers a crash landing

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...and how Gabrysia is repaying her gift of life.

THERE is nothing new – or particularly wrong – about the idea of using the expertise picked up in one field and applying it to another.

That is not to say, however, that there aren’t some exceptions where this can prove less practicable.

Police work, for instance, often requires skills that are unique to what is a profession like no other.

So it was hardly surprising that officers were so outspoken in their scepticism with regard to the Government’s plan to parachute leading figures from other industries into senior policing positions.

Sure enough, none of the 47 applicants for potential roles as superintendents with West Yorkshire Police have been deemed to be up to the required standard.

Some may point to the appointment of Mark Burns-Williamson as the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner as proof that you do not need to be from a policing background to play a key role in shaping the force’s future.

But Mr Burns-Williamson had many years experience as chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Authority which he could bring to the role. These candidates are unlikely to have had similar insights.

That is not to say that this experiment should be abandoned. But it is vital that the police are led by the best men and women available – and that necessitates an open recruitment process that is prejudged by neither police officers nor politicians.

Young Gabrysia busy repaying gift of life

GABRYSIA Filarowski is a walking advert for organ donation.

Five years ago, she was a desperately ill baby with just weeks to live. Today she is a normal six-year-old girl, competing in school sports days and taking up dancing.

She is here because someone made the decision to donate their child’s heart after their death.

That decision was probably not reached easily – but Gabrysia is repaying it every day of her life.

Deciding whether or not to donate organs is a matter of personal choice. But Gabrysia is testament to its ability to transform a life.

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