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Whaley Bridge dam commander becomes Derbyshire chief constable

image copyrightDerbyshire Police
image captionRachel Swann helped co-ordinate the evacuation of Whaley Bridge in 2019
A senior police officer who oversaw the evacuation of Whaley Bridge when a dam wall was damaged has become the first female chief constable of Derbyshire.
As deputy chief constable Rachel Swann was involved in the operation at nearby Toddbrook Reservoir in August 2019.
She has taken over from Peter Goodman who announced he was retiring in July after 32 years in policing.
Mrs Swann, who has spoken out at "sexist and homophobic" abuse sparked by her hairstyle, was "delighted".
She said she has seen "just how remarkable the communities across the county are" after Whaley Bridge and flooding last year.
The senior officer made several media appearances after 1,500 people were evacuated from the Derbyshire town.
image captionRachel Swann said she came off social media for several weeks after "sexist and homophobic" online comments
In November last year Mrs Swann spoke out at people who mocked her appearance during the press conferences on Twitter.
She said: "Some of the comments were misogynistic and homophobic.
"The bit that astounded me was I could not believe that my mere existence could cause such a depth of feeling."
It led her to leave Twitter for several weeks.
Derbyshire police and crime commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said Mrs Swann was a "diversity champion in her own right".
And added: "I am aware that she has inspired other young women to follow in her footsteps and join the police force and I am proud to have her on my team."
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Related Topics

  • Whaley Bridge
  • Derbyshire Constabulary

More on this story

  • Whaley Bridge police chief 'left Twitter over hairstyle abuse'