McMillan, described by a critic as 'relentlessly jolly', will help policemen improve the way they talk to the public and will coax them into expressing their musings in rhyme. His part-time appointment was approved by Humberside chief constable David Westwood, who recently announced a 14% drop in crime in Hull.
Steve Page, a spokesman for the force, confirmed the appointment, saying: 'His humour will only be used where appropriate.'
The move follows the appointment of a magician by the Metropolitan Police to improve the communication and networking skills of some chief superintendents.
Mr Page said the poet's fee would be modest and would come from administrative budgets, not funds intended for front-line fighting. Officers would be permitted to attend poerty-writing workshops only in their own time.
The Metropolitan Police is offering free psychiatric services to its officers to counter a rising tide of depression and anxiety, reported The Independent on Sunday (p9).
New figures show that the Met is losing hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in missed hours and compensation claims by officers suffering untreated stress-related disorders. Police research shows that of the officers on long-term sick leave, at least 30% have some form of mental illness.
As a result, Metropolitan Police commissioner John Stevens has now personally approved the appointment of a psychiatrist and psychotherpist to reduce the sick leave statistics. All officers who are off sick for more than 28 days will be offered free psychiatric care in a scheme which is being piloted by the Met in a year-long trial.