But at 28, despite accelerated promotion to his present rank, where he is in charge of a uniformed patrolling shift, he can still expect to have to wait up to 10 years before becoming an assistant chief constable.
After spending two years in his present post at Pudsey police station in West Yorkshire, he will have to pass through the ranks of chief inspector, superintendent and chief superintendent. That passage is dependent on the jobs becoming available. At the same time the number of middle management posts creates communication barriers between him and the force command. 'There are too many managers and too many ranks in the service,' he said.
Sheehy proposes to change all this, retaining only the post of superintendent between inspector and assistant chief constable. Above that, deputies would go, making eventual passage to chief constable easier. 'Becoming a senior commander is something I have always aimed for. After Sheehy, it may not be much quicker to get there, because there will still be a need to gain experience and there will be intense competition for jobs. But now there are fewer stepping stones to negotiate.'