Dave joined the MDP in March 1984, following an early career in metallurgy engineering. His first MDP posting was as a beat patrol officer at RAF Caerwent, followed in 1985 with a move to USAS Menwith Hill.
In 1987, Dave was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to Royal Ordnance Radway Green, later transferring to HQ Hereford Garrison in 1990, where he specialised as a Quik-Kuf Instructor, a Rifle Officer, and a member of the Augmentation Force (supporting nuclear convoy operations). He completed secondments to the then Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and undertook periods of Acting Inspector duties.
Dave completed a national Inspectors promotion course with Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, and in 1997 he was promoted to Inspector as a Training Manager at the HQ Police Training Centre. Upon qualifying as a Fitness Leader, Dave delivered fitness testing and training sessions for potential recruits and probationary officers. He also completed a National Police Training (NPT) qualification as a Trainer Development Officer, to provide coaching and mentoring support to new MDP Trainers.
Dave was appointed to set up the first MDP Driver Training Department in 2001, coordinating the delivery of an in-house training programme through a network of newly appointed driver trainers. He received a Commendation for drafting and implementing a new Driver Training policy and achieved an MA in Training Management from Middlesex University.
By October 2002, Dave was promoted to Chief Inspector at HM Naval Base Clyde where he worked as an Operational Shift Commander. In 2003, following Force restructuring, Dave was appointed to lead the Scotland Division Operational Support team. He was promoted to Superintendent in 2004 and was initially appointed as Senior Police Officer (SPO) at Clyde, for a 6-month period, pending transfer to RAF Menwith Hill.
In 2007, Dave took up the role of North East Division Ops Superintendent and shortly after was appointed as the Divisional Commander on Temporary Promotion to Chief Superintendent.
Dave returned to MDP HQ in 2010, as Head of Agency Business Services, to coordinate the review and restructure of HQ staffing, providing the interface between the Review Team and the (then) Agency Management Board. Upon implementation of the new structure, Dave was substantively promoted to Chief Superintendent and took up the role of Head of MDP Standards – for which he received a Chief Constable’s commendation for his work to deliver a programme of reviews across MDP stations, required for restructuring as part of efficiency savings.
At the beginning of 2014, Dave was appointed Temporary Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) for HQ Central Operations and, following successful completion of the National Chief Police Officer Strategic Command Course (SCC), he was substantively promoted to ACC in 2016, covering the Organisational Development and Crime portfolio.
Since August 2018, Dave has led the Operations Portfolio, with oversight of all aspects of uniformed operational delivery, including MOD planned events, mutual aid support for national contingencies (including G7 and COP26) and enduring Gold Command oversight of the MDP response during the COVID pandemic.
During his time as ACC, Dave has overseen a range of change and improvement projects, including the Organisational Development strategy, the firearms relicensing process with the College of Policing, internal governance reviews with the Police Committee, Force complement reviews (working closely with stakeholders across Defence), and the recent HQ Operations restructure.
Reflecting on his MDP career, Dave said:
During my (almost) 38 years of public service in the MDP, I’ve had great opportunities, some of which haven’t always been expected, but I’ve always embraced them as a challenge, with a personal commitment to do the right thing for the Force and to lead with compassion and integrity to gain the support of all those colleagues in my teams at the time.
I’ve been fortunate to have experienced some enjoyable command positions, as well as leading on some key change programmes, and have been able to oversee the delivery of our various capabilities, across the Force, for the benefit of Defence, our customers and those in the communities we serve. The opportunity and ability to influence and help shape the future of the MDP has resonated strongly with me, as a career MDP officer, and has been a key motivator for my contributions as a Chief Officer.
I have worked with some great colleagues over the years in the MDP, MOD and other stakeholder teams – all of whom have helped shape me as a leader. However, I must place on record the support I have received from my family, which has been very significant and has enabled me to pursue various roles in different parts of the UK and to have a rewarding and enjoyable career with the MDP.
I look forward to my retirement but will miss the camaraderie of being part of a big organisation. The time is now ripe though for me to watch from the side-lines, reflect on very fond memories and focus on the things I want to achieve in the future, thank you.
Chief Constable Andy Adams commented:
Dave leaves us with an exemplary career record as a Ministry of Defence Police officer: he will be a sad loss to the Force and his profession. I would like to take the opportunity, on behalf of all his colleagues, to wish him and the family all the best for the future.