Hundreds of tributes have poured in across the country following the death of Simon Cole QPM, who had retired as Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police just 12 days ago.
Simon, who had served in the police for over 30 years, was found dead at his home address in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire yesterday morning (March 30).
The cause of his death has not yet been made public and has been referred to the coroner.
Hundreds of tributes have poured in for the popular former Chief, who retired from the role on March 18, just 12 days ago before his body was discovered, many expressing their shock and sadness at his sudden passing.
Rob Nixon, temporary Chief Constable, said: “It is hard to put into words how devastating this news is for the entire force who loved and respected Simon.
“We want to respect their privacy and the Coroner’s process and would ask that the public and media do so too.
“We are offering support to our staff and those who worked closely with Simon,” he added.
“I know Simon had a great impact on many of the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and his death will be a great loss to many of the people he worked with.
“All we can do is pull together and mourn the loss of a greatly respected man.”
Rupert Matthew’s, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland said that he was “extremely saddened to hear this tragic news”.
“Simon Cole was the epitome of of Great Constable whose commitment to public service has been unswerving.“We live in a safer place thanks to his leadership”, he added.
Nick Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council, said: “I’m terribly shocked and saddened to learn of this awful news. Simon was the youngest ever Chief Constable appointed for Leicestershire and Rutland, as well as the longest serving.
“We have lost an outstanding public servant whose mission in life was dedicated to making our communities stronger and safer. Our thoughts and prayers are with his Police colleagues and with his family at this sad time.
“I have ordered the County flag to be flown at half-mast as a tribute to the life of Simon Cole QPM.”
Today, the County flags at County Hall is to be flown at half-mast as a tribute to the life of Simon Cole, as well as those at Federation House, headquarters of the country’s Police Federation.
Leicestershire Police have asked for the privacy of Simon Cole’s family to be respected at this time.
A public book of condolence will be established in the coming days on the Leicestershire Police website.