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
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
Deal’s ACPO post has yet to be advertised.