Commander Brian Paddick, Britain’s (and perhaps the world’s) highest-ranking gay police officer, has announced he’ll be retiring next month after 30 years of service.
Following the London Tube bombings in July 2005, Paddick was thrust into the spotlighthe was being made the fall guy in order to protect the job of Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, following the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian electrician who was mistakenly shot to death in connection with the bombings.
Still, Paddick’s popularity sparked rumors that he was going to get involved in politics as recently as last May.
A 2003 profile in the Guardian noted Paddick’s sense of humor: “Mr Paddick is relaxed enough to laugh at himself and told a gay magazine: ‘My last staff officer got promoted and went to royalty protection. In his leaving card I wrote, ‘Same job, different Queen’.'”
For now, Paddick says he’s going to pursue writing and public speaking, and may produce a documentary on policing. He’s set to retire at the end of May.