Departing Yokosuka commander honored by local police
January 14, 2005
Yokosuka Naval Base’s top official received praise this week for his efforts to promote stronger ties between base and local police.
Yokosuka city Police Chief Tamio Takahashi thanked Capt. King Dietrich in a letter of appreciation for having “greatly contributed to developing cooperation and friendships with Yokosuka Police Station.”
Dietrich, whose tour as Yokosuka’s commander ends Jan. 28, made great strides in preventing crimes and traffic accidents by servicemembers since arriving in July 2003, Takahashi said.
“He was a well-liked commander who gave support in public safety and has had good interaction with the Yokosuka residents on a regular basis,” Takahashi said.
In November, Dietrich participated personally in a monthly night patrol of the “Honch” area just outside the base, Takahashi said. Base police also conducted a joint road-safety campaign in December and added DUI checkpoints.
Dietrich’s efforts helped cut the crime rate 40 percent over the past two years, according to a base spokesman. The added cooperation made it easier to reach an understanding with local police and have base citizens returned quickly, Dietrich said.
“It is less of a burden on the city and also allows us to bring SOFA members back under our control,” Dietrich said.
However, cooperation swings both ways. Japanese police have been given leeway to extensively investigate base residents, within the bounds of the status of forces agreement.
“We opened the books to them as much as we possibly can under the law to be able to help them do their jobs,” Dietrich said.
Yokosuka police officials brought up the idea of commending Dietrich after both officials and residents said he should be honored, Takahashi said.
“In presenting a letter of appreciation to Captain Dietrich, I hope that the relationship between Japan and the United States becomes closer and both countries keep cooperating with each other in the future,” Takahashi said.
Hana Kusumoto contributed to this report.