NEWS: Deal joins the force on Merseyside

John Deal, head of information at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), has been appointed as Merseyside Police’s first communications chief from outside the force.

John Deal, head of information at the Association of Chief Police

Officers (ACPO), has been appointed as Merseyside Police’s first

communications chief from outside the force.



Deal, 29, who joined ACPO in 1993 as a press officer, joins Merseyside

in the newly-c reated role of head of media services and communications.



As head of a seven-strong team responsible for internal and external

communications, his brief will include press relations, events

management and the production of publications.



He replaces Chief Inspector Mike McDermott, who, before his appointment

last July as force information officer, headed a force traffic group.

From September, McDermott will be working on restructuring Merseyside’s

custody services.



Deal, who previously worked in contract publishing and in local

newspapers, said that civilians were now much more readily accepted

across the police service than before.



‘It is not unusual, for example, to find civilians operating in non-

policing roles at assistant chief constable level or as head of finance

or administration,’ he said.



Merseyside is one of the biggest police forces in the country and has

traditionally had a high and progressive media profile. In May 1995 the

force gave its five divisions the go-ahead to speak to the press

directly, rather than insist all enquiries went via its headquarters,

and a month earlier it hit the headlines by announcing it was to spend

pounds 45,000 on a ‘year of harmony’ to improve its race relations

image.



Deal’s ACPO post has yet to be advertised.



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