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Justice Minister David Ford joined Sir Desmond Rea and Sir Hugh Orde as they celebrated the award of honorary degrees from the University of Ulster

HONORARY degrees were awarded today to Sir Hugh Orde and Sir Desmond Rea, who  in their different yet conjoined ways oversaw the transformation of policing in Northern Ireland over much of the past decade.

Sir Hugh Orde Sir Hugh Orde, one of the UK’s most prominent police officers, began his police career in 1977 with London’s Metropolitan Police. He became Chief Constable of the PSNI in 2002, leaving in 2009 to become President of the Association of Chief Police Officers.  

He rose quickly through the ranks of the Met, becoming Superintendent in the Territorial Support Group. Later, as Commander responsible for the service's Community Safety and Partnership section, Orde took part in the latter phase of the enquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence and its subsequent handling by the police. 

He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) for services to policing.  

Professor Sir Desmond Rea
Professor Sir Desmond Rea is a former academic who chaired the Northern Ireland Policing Board from its inception until spring 2009.

A former Chairman of the NI Labour Relations Agency, NI Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment and NI Local Government Staff Commission he is also Editor of First Trust Bank’s quarterly Economic Outlook and Business Review as well as a Non- Executive Director and Chairman of the Ulster Orchestra Society.

Before joining the Policing Board, Sir Desmond was Professor of Human Resource Management at the University of Ulster.  He  received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) for services to policing.