Tributes paid following 'tragic death' of Merseyside inspector
Tributes have been paid to an inspector from Merseyside Police who was killed off duty when the bicycle he was riding collided with a van in Lancashire on Tuesday (June 2).
Graeme Rooney, 51, was cycling with friends at around 8.10pm when he was struck by a Ford Transit Tipper van on Causeway Lane. Paramedics attended but Mr Rooney died a short time later at Aintree Hospital.
Sergeant Steve Hardman, of the Lancashire Constabulary Tactical Operations team, said: “We would like to send our deepest condolences to Graeme’s family and friends.
“We would continue to appeal for anyone who witnessed the collision and has not yet spoken to police to get in touch. Similarly, if you have dashcam footage showing the collision, or if you saw either the van or the bike involved in the moments before it happened, please get in touch.”
Merseyside Chief Constable Andy Cooke, said: “Following the sudden and tragic death of Inspector Graeme Rooney on Tuesday evening I wanted to take time out to pay tribute to an officer who was respected across the board and served the force impeccably for more than 27 years.
“Many of you will have heard the phrase ‘an officer and a gentleman’, and this sums Graeme up perfectly. He was a proud, family man and anyone who knew him will know that he was a committed and professional officer who just got on with the job. He was a Merseyside Police officer through and through, he loved working the football and big events, was part of the Bronze rota and recently joined the negotiator team.
“At Walton Lane where he had been the community inspector for more than three years, he was a popular officer who earned the trust and support, not only of his staff and partners, but also of the local community he served.
“Graeme had a huge passion for the job and that is reflected in the work ethos of members of his team at Walton Lane, who have done him proud and I know they will continue to do so. They are obviously devastated by the loss of Graeme, but we need to remember that having known Graeme, the greatest thing we can do in his memory is to harness the compassion and dedication he showed for community policing throughout his career and use it ourselves on a daily basis.
“Graeme started his career as a uniform officer at Copy Lane, before moving to Bootle. He then worked at the Operational Support Division before moving to the Air Support Group (ASG) in 2000. He left the ASG five years later when he returned as a uniformed constable to Tuebrook police station. Six months later in September 2006 Graeme was promoted to sergeant at Stanley Road police station and had responsibility for Kirkdale. In January 2010 he became a temporary inspector at Admiral Street and was made a substantive inspector for Speke in 2011. Prior to working at Walton Lane, Graeme was the Liverpool South inspector for Wavertree and Riverside.
“During his career Graeme received a Superintendent’s Commendation for professionalism, initiative and courage in effecting the arrest and conviction of a male in possession of a loaded firearm.
“I have no doubt that this tragic loss will be felt widely across the force by those who worked with Graeme, knew him and became his friends. Graeme was very much a family man and was extremely proud of his two sons. Our thoughts are very much with his wife, his sons, family and friends at this sad time.”
Merseyside police and crime commissioner Jane Kennedy, added: “I was incredibly sorry to hear about the death of Inspector Graeme Rooney. I very much admired his work, his professionalism and the genuine care he had for the communities of North Liverpool, where he led the local policing teams.”
Merseyside Police Federation chair Tony Fairclough said: “The thoughts and condolences of all at Merseyside Police Federation are with Graeme’s family and friends at this terribly sad time.
“Graeme was a well-respected police officer who served the community for over 27 years, and all of his colleagues are devastated by this tragic news.
“Merseyside Police Federation will be there to support our colleagues who will be mourning this terrible news. We are also in touch with Graeme’s family to provide any support we can at this impossible time. Graeme will be missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.”
Mr Rooney’s family issued the following statement: “Graeme was much loved by his wife and children, extended family friends and colleagues. He will be sadly missed by all. Graeme was a well-respected Merseyside Police inspector who served the community for 27 years. The family would appreciate privacy at this difficult time.”