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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 17:31 GMT
Profile: Michael Todd
Michael Todd gets hit with a Taser
Michael Todd: Allowed himself to be stunned with a Taser gun
Greater Manchester Chief Constable Michael Todd, who has been confirmed dead, was one of the most high profile police officers outside London.

A career high-flier, Mr Todd was long tipped for the top job in the British police as a future Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

When the current commissioner Sir Ian Blair came under massive pressure because of the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Manchester chief and father of three was among those talked of as a possible replacement.

Political policing

Mr Todd was one of a new generation of police chiefs. He had a degree and masters in politics from Essex University and began his policing career in the county.

Born in 1957
1976 Trains with Essex Police, moves to Met
1995: Assistant Chief Constable, Notts
1998 Dept Asst Commissioner, Met
2000: Asst Commissioner, Met
2001: Queen's Police Medal
2002 Chief Constable, Manchester
2006: Vice chairman, Acpo
He moved to the Metropolitan Police under a management exchange scheme and later became assistant chief constable of Nottingham in 1995.

Three years later, he was back in London as a deputy assistant commissioner for the north west of the city.

Made an assistant commissioner in 2000, Mr Todd commanded major public events and oversaw the Notting Hill Carnival, one of the most political policing jobs in Britain.

He was also responsible for managing the Queen's Jubilee celebrations and policing a string of controversial anti-globalisation protests.

Taser gun

Mr Todd was a widely respected police officer within the UK, partly because of his public relations efforts and because he had worked in four major force areas.

During the 2001 May Day protests he conducted 66 television and radio interviews in 48 hours to ensure the police's message was heard loud and clear.

His most high-profile media appearance was when he allowed himself to be hit by a Taser stun gun to prove they were a safe alternative to firearms when apprehending dangerous offenders.

"I couldn't move, it hurt like hell," he said after recovering. "I wouldn't want to do that again."

Overhauling policing

When he took over at Manchester, the third largest force in the country, Mr Todd set about turning around what he saw as underperformance - the force was then one of the poorest performers in the UK.

He criticised some of his own officers for the way they were conducting interviews with suspects - and in one interview said that the city had to accept it had a problem with gun and gang crime.

His supporters say he never lost contact with the frontline, saying that he enjoyed being out on the beat with colleagues more than being behind a desk. Shortly after taking over in Manchester he set a minimum number of hours for beat duties for every officer in the force.

In 2006 he became the vice-chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers, the politically powerful group of senior officers that help set policy across constabularies.

His interests in the body included counter-terrorism and media policy. Greater Manchester became the first area outside of London to launch a dedicated counter-terrorism unit with Mr Todd calling for close co-operation with MI5.

In his official biography, Mr Todd described his interests as chauffeuring his children around, mountain biking, computer games and reading.

He said that he was especially interested in military and political biographies. He said his heroes were Alexander the Great and US Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and George Patton.

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