STAFFORDSHIRE'S premier policeman has been award the Queen's Policing Medal inHer Majesty's New Year's honours list.
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, a married man with two sons, originally from Liverpool, was cited for his work overseeing an unparalleled programme of change, significantly reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in the county despite tightening purse strings as well as making a major contribution nationally in his role as lead for professional standards at the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Mr Cunningham said: “I feel really honoured to be given this award but it’s also a tribute to the many colleagues I’ve worked with over my service.
“Policing is all about teamwork," he said. "It’s a calling, a vocation and I’ve always been passionate about the job because I firmly believe that we can make a real and positive difference to people’s lives, everyday.
"Delivering for victims, especially those that have suffered tragedy or hardship, or are vulnerable, is for me about as professionally rewarding as public service can get.”
Mr Cunningham only joined Staffordshire Police in September 2009 but has already presided over crime figures falling from 73,918 to 63,628, incidents of anti-social behaviour cut by nearly a third, from 44,741 to 31,040, and victim satisfaction rates maintained.
His career began in 1987 when he joined Lancashire Constabulary where he held a number of ranks and roles before becoming Blackpool’s Divisional Commander in 2002.
He was appointed Assistant Chief Constable in November 2005 and then Deputy Chief Constable in August 2007.
Prior to becoming a police office he studied theology at the University of Durham, graduating in 1985 and initially became a teacher.
Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said he was delighted for Mr Cunningham and proud for Staffordshire Police.
"He has done a tremendous job over the last few years, transforming the way Staffordshire Police works," said Mr Ellis. "Whilst there are big challenges ahead, I have every confidence he will meet these as he has in the past.”