SINCE Police Scotland came into being it has been mired in controversy.
Internal investigations, call centre mistakes that ended in tragedy, and a chief constable’s position that no one seems to be able to keep.
In the meantime, rank and file officers have carried on policing the streets while, somehow, keeping crime levels at a record low.
Now the force faces its most critical time as it searches for a new leader to take on a job that has become about as attractive as that of Scotland football manager.
The first challenge will be to find someone, of the right calibre, who wants to risk taking such a controversial role.
The second will be to repair the image of an organisation that has suffered huge damage, externally and internally.
The experts we quote today on pages 18 and 19 talk sense. Yes, there is an acceptance that a single force was an inevitability given the argument for efficiencies in public spending.
However, the politicians and senior officers simply didn’t do enough to ensure local accountability when Police Scotland came into being.
Major crimes can – and should – be tackled in a uniform way across the country.
However, local differences, concerns and voices should also be recognised. At the moment it doesn’t feel like they are.
What might be right for an urban community in the likes of Glasgow, might not be right for a community in rural Aberdeenshire.
We all want the police to succeed, and grab the headlines for the right reasons.
The Scottish Police Authority must get the next appointment right.
It, and the country, cannot afford another debacle.
Working 9 to 5… after you reach 65
In years gone by, once you hit your 60s, life changed dramatically.
After years at work, it was time to plan for your retirement, which some people did with great excitement while others met it with some trepidation.
Trepidation because they were moving from a time when their role in life was often clearly defined by their occupation.
Working kept you stimulated, it gave them a purpose and, perhaps, authority.
But in retirement there was the danger such driving factors would disappear, leaving a worrying void.
But today it’s different with many pensioners now working well into their 70s and 80s as our feature this weekend shows.
Some do it simply for the stimulation and enjoyment. And do you know what? They are doing a fine job!