the man currently heading the Central Scotland force has been given a key role in the new Scottish police authority.
Derek Penman, who is acting chief constable, was this week appointed one of six assistant chief constables for Police Scotland. The new service will have Scotland-wide responsibilities from April 1 next year.
He will look after local policing in the north, covering Tayside, Grampian and the Highlands and Islands.
Mr Penman will join the senior command team, headed by Chief Constable Stephen House along with the other five who will hold similar ranks.
After the announcement by the Scottish Police Authority, Mr Penman said he was delighted to be taking up the new role.
He said: “I will use my experience in policing to make a positive contribution to delivering improved outcomes for the people of Scotland.
“Local policing will be at the heart of Police Scotland and I look forward to working closely with the new local police commanders, partners and communities across the north of Scotland to ensure local policing needs are met and people kept safe.”
Chief Constable House said: “The six assistant chief constables who have been appointed will play critical roles in the future of policing in Scotland.
“The team will now drive forward local policing, deliver operationally on organised crime, major incidents, counter terrorism, public protection and operational support.
“They will work closely with the deputy chief constable to shape the best possible service for communities to keep people safe.”
The appointees are expected to take up their new roles shortly. All will be based in the new police authority’s interim headquarters at Tulliallan Castle, although the local policing assistant chief constables are expected to spend a significant amount of time in communities.
Mr Penman joined Central Scotland Police as a cadet in 1982 and reached the rank of Chief Superintendent. He joined Grampian Police as assistant chief constable in 2009, before returning to Central as deputy chief constable in January 2011 and has been acting chief since November last year.
There are currently eight chief constables in Scotland, nine DCCs and 13 ACCs, costing £4.8 million annually. The new service will have one chief, four DCCs and six ACCs, and cost less than £2 million.
Mr Penman is married and lives in Larbert.