Ministry of Defence Police ACC Paul McLaughlin retires

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Paul joined the MDP in 1984, following an early career in the Merchant Navy. His first MDP posting was as a beat patrol officer at the Royal Navy Armament Depot (RNAD) in Beith, Ayshire, moving to the Clyde Marine Unit as a police coxswain 5 years later. In 1992 Paul was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to RNAD Coulport.

After successfully gaining a National Police Trainer qualification at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan, Paul moved to the MDP’s Police Training Centre at Wethersfield, where he was consequently promoted to Inspector and, in March 1999, became Head of PTC, on temporary promotion to Chief Inspector rank.

In July 2001 Paul was substantively promoted to Chief Inspector and returned to Scotland, stationed at RNAD Coulport as an Operational Shift Commander. Two years later, Paul moved back to MDP HQ taking up position as Head of the International Policing and Secondments Office. This involved overseeing and briefing on the operational arrangements for deployments to locations such as Kosovo, Pitcairn Islands, Kenya, Bosnia and Iraq.

In 2004 Paul was promoted to Superintendent, as Head of Learning and Development (HoLD), with full responsibility for the delivery of police training in the force. At the time the MDP had agency status along with the Ministry of Defence Guard Service (MGS), known as the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency (MDPGA), and Paul was therefore ultimately responsible for coordinating, developing and integrating all MGS staff training and development needs in addition to those of MDP staff.

From 2008 to 2010 Paul was Senior Police Officer at AWE Aldermaston, before returning to MDP HQ to lead the review and restructure of HQ staffing, following which he took up post as Head of the new Operational Capability Centre (formerly the PTC). In 2012 Paul was promoted to Chief Superintendent and took up post as Nuclear Commander at Abbeywood, where he set up and led a new Nuclear Command structure.

At the beginning of 2014, Paul was appointed Temporary Assistant Chief Constable for Force Operations and, following successful completion of the National Chief Police Officer Strategic Command Course (SCC), was substantively promoted to ACC in 2016. During his time as ACC Paul has led on a range of change/improvement projects including infrastructure reorganisation, increased capability, programme planning, the Force complement reset and as strategic lead on both critical and routine operational and business incidents.

Reflecting on his MDP career, Paul said:

Looking back, I’m really happy with the choices I made during my MDP career. I’ve been fortunate to have experienced some challenging command positions, in addition to leading on key strategic change programmes. The successful outcomes of some of my work are still prevalent in the Force today and it’s that contribution, coupled with the resulting benefits to our staff, that gives me the greatest pleasure and which I’ll remember most.

What is important to me, in just about every single thing I’ve ever done in my career, is that I’ve gone into my work with the right intentions and that goes a long way. I consider myself as a stalwart ambassador for all things MDP and as I look forward to my retirement on leaving the force, it’s the people that I will miss most, every element of my success has been influenced one way or another by the MDP workforce. I will look back with fond memories, thank you.

Chief Constable Andy Adams commented:

Paul’s career has been exemplary and his boundless enthusiasm to get the job done is an example to many. He has been an outstanding MDP officer and I know that everyone in the force will join me in wishing him all the very best for a happy retirement with his family.

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