New force deputy chosen from ‘talented pool’
A senior officer with substantial ‘big event’ experience is Kent Police’s new deputy chief constable.
Tony Blaker, the national policing lead for courts, has taken over the number two role of the south east force from Paul Brandon who has just retired – having been awarded the Queens Police Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours at the weekend.
Mr Blaker, who spent a good deal of his career with neighbouring Sussex Police, has a well-documented history of policing large-scale events such as Brighton Pride and being the gold commander for the responses to the Shoreham air crash and anti-fracking protests.
He has also been instrumental in Sussex Police’s collaboration programme with Surrey Police.
In April 2016 he was promoted to assistant chief constable of Sussex Police where he led on specialist search, air support, public order, dogs and roads policing.
Within weeks he was on the move – appointed assistant chief constable of the Kent force as head of central operations which includes Tactical Operations Command, Central Investigation Command and Strategic Partnerships.
As well as a National Police Chiefs’ Council lead, Mr Blaker is currently the chair of the Kent Criminal Justice Board.
His new appointment follows a selection process, which culminated with an assessment that was chaired by the chief constable and consisted of external, independent members.
Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: “The candidate pool for this process consisted of a number of exceptional individuals and I was delighted to be in a position to select the force’s next deputy chief constable from such a talented pool.
“I am delighted Tony Blaker has been appointed as my deputy. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge and will play a significant role in ensuring Kent Police builds on its success and continues to deliver a first-class service.”
Police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott said: “I’d like to congratulate Mr Blaker on his promotion.”