A SENIOR West Midlands Police chief, who is battling motor neurone disease, has said a fond farewell to colleagues in the force after almost 30 years of service – but not before completing one final challenge.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Johnson, who lives in Bromsgrove, spent his entire policing career with his hometown force having worked his way up from beat bobby on the streets of Birmingham to one of the force's most senior officers.

He has been Police Commander in Dudley and Birmingham and in 2018 he was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable - his proudest moment in is long career, but just months later he was told the devastating news that he had Motor Neurone Disease (MND) - a terminal illness for which there is currently no cure.

ACC Johnson met the heart-shattering news head-on and vowed to continue fighting crime with West Midlands Police for as long as possible.


For the last 18 months he has continued as ACC overseeing the force operations department – a full-on role with responsibility for traffic policing, dogs, emergency response units, the contact centre and firearms, plus other specialist police teams; and last year the 53-year-old’s achievements won royal recognition when he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for his “remarkable contribution” to policing in the West Midlands.

He finally decided the time was right to retire, however, and handed over his warrant card on Friday (September 25)...but not before completing one final, gruelling challenge.

Now reliant on a wheelchair to get around he still vowed to walk 5,000 steps in just a fortnight to raise money for charity and awareness of Motor Neurone Disease.

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

And he took those final few steps outside West Midlands Police’s HQ at Lloyd House in Birmingham on his final day of service.

He said: “It’s been a genuine honour to have worked with West Midlands Police for so long. We’ve certainly come a long way since I joined in 1991, which was a time of telex machines, pagers, faxes and an office filled with card index systems."

He described his last day as "very emotional" and said: “When I got my MND diagnosis I was determined it would not define my policing career. I’ve served the people of the West Midlands for almost three decades; it’s what I’ve achieved over those years that I’ll reflect on.

“I’ve always relished a challenge and completing 5,000 steps has been really hard work. I did 100 or 150 at a time in the garden – two or three times a day – and managed to inch closer to my target. It was fitting to do the final few steps at work.

“I am determined to remain positive and keep fighting, doing what I can to raise awareness and support to one day help find some form of treatment for those who may be diagnosed in the future."

Chris has set up a Just Giving page for his 5,000 steps for 5,000 people living with MND in the UK and donations can still be made online at https://tinyurl.com/y5p8xla3.