Tributes paid to top cop who bravely battled Motor Neurone Disease - The Solihull Observer

Tributes paid to top cop who bravely battled Motor Neurone Disease

Solihull Editorial 27th Apr, 2023   0

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former West Midlands Police assistant chief constable who died following a long battle with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Chris Johnson, who served at the force for 29 years, starting as a PC then working through the ranks up to Assitant Chief Constable, died on April 20 at the age of 55.

In 2018, Chris was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease; he vowed to continue fighting crime and serving the public and he was the executive lead for Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games 2022 until his retirement in September 2020.

On his final day at West Midlands Police, Chris completed his fundraising challenge to walk 5,000 steps to represent someone living with MND in the UK.

One of Chris’ proudest moments in his career was being presented with the Queen’s Police Medal in honour of almost three decades of policing.

He received the award during a special ceremony in Birmingham attended by family members, the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid and other dignitaries including the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Birmingham Lord Mayor.




Paying tribute assistant chief constable Claire Bell said: “Chris is an absolute legend, I was lucky to work closely with him on a number of occasions and to call him a friend and colleague. He is one of the most genuine, kind hearted public servants I have met.

“He taught me many things and inspired me even more – he will be sadly missed by so many but has left an incredible legacy here in West Midlands Police – I hope Sharon, Katie, Harry and the rest of his family are incredibly proud of him.”


Chris was keen for others to know that an MND diagnosis does not need to be a career barrier and coined the phrase “It’s ok not to be ok”.

Following his retirement, he continued to campaign and raise awareness of the disease as well as thousands of pounds for charities.

Chris’ wife Sharon and his children Katie and Harry said: “Chris fought a long and hard battle with MND. But he was true to his word and it did not define him.

“As a family we are absolutely devastated but will continue to join that fight to find a cure for MND to stop other families from going through what we have.

“We are taking comfort from all your love and support – so thank you.”

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