Tributes to Bromsgrove police officer who bravely battled Motor Neurone Disease - The Bromsgrove Standard

Tributes to Bromsgrove police officer who bravely battled Motor Neurone Disease

Bromsgrove Editorial 25th Apr, 2023   0

TRIBUTES have been paid to former West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Chris Johnson QPM who died last week at the age of 55.

Chris, from Bromsgrove, had served the force for 29 years, starting as a PC and working through the ranks to ACC.

He had worked in many areas, including as Commander of the Birmingham and Dudley police units and leading force contact, traffic, response and operations which covered a range of specialist teams.

In 2018, Chris was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and vowed to continue fighting crime and serving the public. He was the executive lead for Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games 2022 until his retirement in September 2020. On his final day at WMP, Chris completed his fund-raising challenge to walk 5,000 steps to represent someone living with MND in the UK.

One of Chris’ proudest moments in his career was being presented with the Queen’s Police Medal in honour of almost three decades of policing.

He received the award during a special ceremony in Birmingham attended by family members, the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid and other dignitaries including the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Birmingham Lord Mayor.

Chris was keen for others to know an MND diagnosis did not need to be a career barrier and coined the phrase ‘It’s okay not to be okay’. Following his retirement, he continued to campaign and raise awareness of the disease as well as thousands of pounds for charities.

ACC Claire Bell paid tribute to her colleague and friend.

She said: “Chris is an absolute legend, I was lucky to work closely with him on a number of occasions and to call him a friend and colleague.

“He is one of the most genuine, kind hearted public servants I have met.

“He taught me many things and inspired me even more – he will be sadly missed by so many but has left an incredible legacy here in West Midlands Police – I hope Sharon, Katie, Harry and the rest of his family are incredibly proud of him.”

Chris’ wife Sharon and his children Katie and Harry said: “Chris fought a long and hard battle with MND.

“But he was true to his word and it did not define him.

“As a family we are absolutely devastated but will continue to join that fight to find a cure for MND to stop other families from going through what we have.

“We are taking comfort from all your love and support – so thank you.”

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