Former Bedfordshire Chief Constable Garry Forsyth is to be recognised in King Charles’ honours list published on Saturday (17 June).
Mr Forsyth, who served with the force for five years until his retirement earlier this year, will be awarded the King’s Policing Medal for his service across six constabularies - West Midlands Police, the Metropolitan Police Service, Leicestershire Constabulary, Humberside Police and Northamptonshire where he started his career in 1994.
Mr Forsyth said: “I’m genuinely delighted to receive this honour, which feels like the cherry on the cake of a fantastic career for me, and not something I’d ever thought I would achieve setting out as beat officer in Wellingborough back in 1994.
“The award is really testament to all the amazing officers, staff, volunteers and communities I have had the good fortune and pleasure to work with and alongside throughout my career."
While at Bedfordshire he helped turn the force around to become recognised as leaders across a range of specialisms and recently received an Outstanding grading by His Majesty of Constabularies and Fire and Rescue Services for Managing Offenders. He oversaw the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit which coordinates the policing response to counter terrorism and serious and organised crime across the east of England, during the response to Operation Venetic resulting in major disruptions to organised crime and the seizure of multiple firearms and hundreds of kilos of drugs, alongside numerous operations including the response to the murder of MP Sir David Amess in 2021.
Bedfordshire Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst said: “I’m delighted for this very deserved recognition for Garry who is a selfless character who always sought to put others before himself. He is a fantastic leader who gave a great deal to policing and particularly Bedfordshire with his foresight and focus on innovation and culture which remain key priorities for everyone in the force.”
Other highlights from his 28-year career include being one of 10 gold commanders for the 2012 Olympic Games and commanding large scale demonstrations and sporting events across several regions.
On a national level, Mr Forsyth held the lead for Race, Religion and Belief playing a key role in driving forward the Police Race Action Plan recognising the need to bring people together tackle discrimination and strengthen our communities. His focus helped Bedfordshire to achieve the lowest levels of disproportionality for the use of stop and search and is a national exemplar of best practice.
Throughout his career he supported and nurtured talent and innovation, including overseeing the Future Supers programme which now supports more than 300 Black, Asian and minority ethnic officers in their personal development to become senior leaders - a crucial element for the future of policing to ensure visible leadership that is representative of our communities.
He also initiated a ground-breaking partnership with Amazon Web Services to scope innovative digital solutions to improve efficiency and effectiveness of police services which is starting to deliver results across a range of functions.
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye added: "I give my warmest congratulations to Garry who should be rightly proud of this recognition of his years of policing service to communities in many parts of the UK. He and his senior leadership team took Bedfordshire Police from being a force in special measures to one that is now, under the leadership of Trevor Rodenhurst, one of the forces that others look to and want to emulate.
"The relentless focus there is in Bedfordshire Police on nurturing a welcoming and supportive culture is testament to the priority Garry placed upon the force being inclusive, anti-racist and somewhere that attracts talented and compassionate officers, police staff and volunteers to come and serve the people of Bedfordshire."