The Chief Constable of Essex Police has paid tribute to the officer who was shot dead in Clacton on Monday.
Jim Barker-McCardle was speaking after visiting members of Pc Ian Dibell's family.
"I have, yesterday afternoon, 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.
"Ian was a very experienced and highly-regarded neighbourhood policing officer well-known in the Clacton community that he had served since 2009. For the eight years prior to this, Ian had worked as both a Neighbourhood and Response officer based in Colchester.
"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.
"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.
"I have no doubt that Ian knew of the danger he was facing when he stepped in to protect a member of the public whilst off duty and without any thought for his own safety. He had an incredible devotion to his community – a devotion which led to his paying the ultimate price.
"We have received so many messages of condolence and support from across the country. I have passed these on to Ian’s family, whose sense of loss is beyond description.
"Essex Police is a family and we are all hurting and grieving. This tragedy is a stark and profound reminder that, ultimately, officers give their lives in the service of others.”
Peter Reeve, the gunman who shot dead off-duty officer Pc Ian Dibell yesterday, has been found dead in a churchyard in Writtle, near Chelmsford.
The family of Pc Dibell called him a "hero" and said he had paid for his actions "in the most devastating way".
Police hunting for a man suspected of killing an off-duty officer are searching a village green following the discovery of a body.
Pc Ian Dibell was shot dead and a member of the public sustained leg injuries after a gunman struck in a residential street in the seaside town of Clacton in Essex yesterday.
Police hunting for a man suspected of killing an off-duty officer have been searching a village green in Essex today amid reports that a body has been found.
Pc Ian Dibell was shot dead after a gunman struck in a residential street in the seaside town of Clacton yesterday.
Police released a photograph of suspect Peter Reeve, 64, and vowed to "not rest" until he was captured and taken into custody.
But today Essex Police called a press conference to make a "significant update" about the hunt for Reeve amid reports that a body had been found in Writtle, near Chelmsford.
Eyewitnesses say that police hunting for a man suspected of killing an off-duty officer are searching an area near to the village green at Writtle, Chelmsford, amid reports that a body has been found.
Pc Ian Dibell, who was shot dead in Clacton, Essex, earlier today, was "an experienced and professional neighbourhood police officer" who "deliberately intervened in what he knew was an extremely deadly situation", Essex Police Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said tonight.
Click here for the latest on this story.
Police are hunting a gunman after a man was shot dead and a woman injured in Farlop Close, Clacton, Essex, just after 3.30pm today.
On arriving at the scene, officers found the man dead and the woman with serious leg injuries. A spokesman for Essex Police said:
"Residents are being urged to remain indoors while armed officers locate the gunman.
"Neighbourhood policing officers are maintaining a high-profile and visible presence in the community, supporting victims and witnesses. Members of the public are urged to contact police on 999 if they see the gunman who should not be approached."