It was something of a homecoming for the newly appointed PSNI Chief Constable, George Hamilton, this week when he paid a visit to Lisburn police station during his first day on the job.
Mr Hamilton, who took up the top post on Monday (June 30), made visiting Lisburn one of his priorities after being stationed here as an inspector in the late 1990s.
Mr Hamilton was also stationed in Dunmurry in the late 80s and told the Ulster Star that he feels a strong connection to the area.
Speaking during his visit to Lisburn station, where he met officers and community representatives, Mr Hamilton said: “I have a bit of history with this part and I wanted to come back to where I had worked.
“I have a very good relationship with the District Commander, Henry Irvine, and I learnt a lot from him when he was my boss.”
Mr Hamilton praised the work of the Dunmurry Neighbourhood Policing team. “I wanted to come and show the community and police officers at community level that senior leadership is interested in what they do.
“I wish I could bottle what is happening in Dunmurry and distribute it everywhere else.”
Acting Chief Inspector in Lisburn, Mark Robinson, was delighted to welcome the Chief Constable to Lisburn. “The officers greatly appreciated the fact that on his first day the Chief had taken time to come to meet police officers and local community representatives.”
Constable Kathryn Brannigan, who is stationed in Lisburn, was impressed with the new ‘boss’.
“I was quite excited,” she said. “It was really good to meet the person in charge of the entire organisation.
“He seemed very approachable and very down to earth and the fact that he came somewhere he had connections with showed a personal touch.”
The Chairman of Lisburn PSCP, Councillor Brian Bloomfield, also met with the new Chief Constable during his visit to the city.
“During the meeting, which focused on a range of policing issues in Lisburn, I outlined the significant work of the Lisburn PCSP and the importance of us working together, that is, the Community, the Council and of course the PSNI,” said Mr Bloomfield.
“The meeting was very positive and I hope the first of many.
“I would like to thank Chief Superintendent, Henry Irvine, and Chief Inspector, Mark Robinson, for arranging this meeting and the Chief Constable himself for taking the time to meet with us on this his very busy first day.”
On behalf of Lisburn PCSP, I wish the Chief Constable every success and support in his new role here in Northern Ireland