Chief Inspector Mark Leonard has been appointed as the new Area Commander for local policing in Motherwell, Bellshill, Wishaw and Shotts.
The former Holy Cross High pupil left school and joined the Royal Air Force as an Aerospace Systems Operator, serving across the UK, The Falklands and Cyprus.
On leaving the RAF, Mark joined Grampian Police in 1995 where he worked in Aberdeen and Peterhead.
In 2000 he transferred to Strathclyde working in the likes of Cumbernauld, Wishaw, Rutherglen, Blantyre and Hamilton across a variety of roles including local policing, proactive and reactive investigations and licensing.
He has held specialist roles as a family liaison officer on major investigations, covert source handler, and as a public order/CBRN responder.
For the last couple of years he led a national team at the Scottish Crime Campus, Gartcosh, supporting local policing and the Specialist Crime Division.
He was responsible for ensuring Police Scotland worked collaboratively to prevent and reduce the harm caused by serious organised crime by supporting private, public and third sector organisations, and during this time became the first police officer to complete the Scottish Improvement Leader programme.
Mark takes over his new position from Chief Inspector Glen Bland.
He said “When the opportunity arose to return to Lanarkshire and to be the Area Commander I just had to take it.
“To be able to lead your team of officers, delivering on what your local priorities are means a lot to me. I live locally and I guess the scrutiny that friends and family will put me under gives this job an added edge!
“In my first couple of weeks I have experienced first-hand the quality of the service your team provides. The professionalism, their innovation and ability to just do the simple things right.
“My vision is fairly simple, focus our efforts on the individuals causing the most harm and in the areas where you need us. Where there are opportunities to work in collaboration with relevant partners to make things better we will.
“My job is to reflect on why someone needs the police, then do the best I can to provide the necessary leadership, support and influence to improve things. With the right preventative approach we will do our best.”