A police chief has paid tribute to an officer who was shot dead after stepping in to protect a member of the public.
Jim Barker-McCardle, Chief Constable of Essex Police, was speaking after visiting members of Pc Ian Dibell’s family.
Mr Barker-McCardle said: “Ian’s tragic death reminds us all that it’s not the uniform that makes a police officer but the instinctive, brave and selfless help to others.”
Pc Dibell, 41, was shot dead near his home in Clacton, Essex, on Monday. Another man was injured.
His suspected killer, Peter Reeve, 64, was found dead in a churchyard on Tuesday.
Mr Barker-McCardle said: “I have visited Pc Ian Dibell’s family and loved ones to personally offer them my condolences and express the support of everyone at Essex Police during this very difficult time.
“Since Ian’s murder, we have heard from fellow officers and staff how loved and respected our fallen colleague was.
“He was personable, charming, always immaculately dressed and very popular with his colleagues.”
He added that Pc Dibell was “a very experienced and highly-regarded neighbourhood policing officer” who was well-known in the seaside town, having served there since 2009.
Before that he spent eight years as both a neighbourhood and response officer based in Colchester. Several members of his family also served in the police.
Mr Barker-McCardle said: “Ian was an extraordinary man doing an extraordinary job.
“He was proud of his family’s police service, proud to be an Essex Police officer and proud to serve the community in which he lived.”