|Tributes pour in for elected official for West Midlands Police, who passed away in his sleep.|
The police and crime commissioner (PCC) for West Midlands Police died in his sleep last night (June 30), it has been confirmed.
PCC Bob Jones (59 and pictured) passed away at his home in Wolverhampton, his office said in a statement.
Deputy PCC Yvonne Mosquito said: "This is a huge loss to the West Midlands and to policing. Bob was a dear friend and a deeply committed public servant. All our thoughts are with Bob's wife Sarah and his family at this sad time."
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims added: "Bob was a brilliant police and crime commissioner who brought great knowledge and empathy to the role.
"It was a pleasure to work with Bob over so many years. His public life was dedicated to always trying to get the best out of the Police Service which he did with vigour."
Under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, the legislation underpinning police and crime commissioners, a by-election for the post should be held in the next 35 days.
Mr Jones, who was elected as PCC in November 2012, started his distinguished career in public service as a Labour councillor for Blakenhall in Wolverhampton in 1980 after completing a degree in public administration.
He became a member of the force's police authority in 1986 through to its demise ahead of the PCC elections in 2012. He was chairman of the authority from 1995-2000 and was chairman of the Association of Police Authorities from 2005-2009.
He was also a member of several law enforcement organisations including the National Policing Board and the National Criminal Justice Squad. He was also chairman of the Employer Side of the Police Staff Council.
He was made CBE in 2010 for services to policing.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: "Bob was a very kind and intelligent man who cared deeply about the communities he represented. He served with great distinction as police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, and before that leading West Midlands Police Authority, always championing neighbourhood policing and victims' rights. I have benefited from his advice and wisdom over the years and he was rightly awarded a CBE.
"He will be badly missed in the Labour Party and in the West Midlands as a caring public servant and a friend."