TV & Radio
The Gay Cop Leading London's Terrorism Investigation
by Peter Moore 365Gay.com London Bureau
Posted: July 11, 2005 12:01 am ET
(London) He has become the most visible face in the wake of last week's terrorist attack in London - Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner Brian Paddick, the highest ranking gay police officer anywhere in the world.
Paddick is leading the investigation to find those responsible and has been a near constant presence at news conferences to update the public.
Sunday Paddick went on British television to announce that three people had been arrested at Heathrow Airport under the country's anti-terrorism laws, but he said it was too early to say for certain if they were linked to Thursday's explosions.
The confirmed death toll from the subway and bus bombings stands at 49, but there are likely to be be more bodies found in a train that recovery teams have had difficulty reaching deep underground between King's Cross and Russell Square Paddick said.
The grandson of a policeman, Paddick grew up in South London. He joined the Metropolitan Police, called the Met, in 1976. Progressing through the ranks, he gained operational experience in Brixton in 1981 when the area was hit by race riots and was promoted to detective and then served in managerial roles in a variety of areas.
Paddick holds degrees in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and a Masters in Business Administration from Warwick. At Oxford, he was Captain of the University Swimming Team and Vice-Captain of his college’s Rugby team.
At the end of 2000, Paddick was promoted to the rank of Commander and moved back to Brixton. His "softly, softly" approach to marijuana possession was met with stiff opposition by many on the force, and helped fuel his detractors who had argued against promoting a gay officer in the first place.
In November of the same year Paddick was rebuked by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for saying arresting people for using Ecstasy was "low" on his priority list.
He then was accused of posting a message on a web board that he found the "concept of anarchism appealing".
The controversy surrounding him climaxed in March 2002 when his former lover James Renolleau went public with drug allegations, which the officer denied. Nevertheless, Paddick was suspended following an investigation. But, in October 2002 it was announced that no criminal charges would follow.
That summer he led a march of other gay police officers through central London as part of the Gay Pride festival.
Following the investigation over drugs Paddick was seconded to Scotland Yard where he helped implement the National Intelligence Model - a blueprint for dealing with emergencies such as last week's terrorist attack. The Model also helped develop the intricate surveillance camera system that blankets London.
Those cameras, Paddick told reporters on the weekend, could hold the clue to who the terrorists were. Investigators are pouring over millions of still-frames taken by the cameras in an effort to see if the same people show up in multiple locations where blasts went off.
In 2003 Paddick returned to the Met and was named Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the force and then confirmed in the new position, making him the number two man in the Met.