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CHATAN, Okinawa — A gathering of 500 prefectural police officers and government and U.S. military officials were on hand Friday to reaffirm a commitment to safety and security on the island.

Okinawa Prefectural Police Commissioner Hachiro Tokutsu addressed attendees at the police’s annual review, telling them that for the past six years, the number of reported crimes on Okinawa has continued to decline.

However, crimes such as murders and robberies and increasing drug abuses by youth, as well as alcohol-related traffic accidents, remain threats to the community, he said.

“Strong, swift and sincere are the words to represent our determination to meet the expectations of the public,” he said. “We renew our pledge that we serve for the safety and security of 1.38 million people of Okinawa.”

Another group of about 500 onlookers joined the gathering at the Chatan-Cho public parking lot in the American Village to watch police officers and two police dogs demonstrate their skills.

Among officials in attendance were U.S. military leaders from all four services, including Lt. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer, commander of III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Bases Okinawa.

After remarks by dignitaries, spectators watched an inspection parade, a police musical band performance, suppress-and-arrest demonstrations by police officers and dogs, a motorcade, a helicopter flyover, motorcycle squad performance and disaster relief drills.

“Their esprit de corps, professionalism and pride … you could see it in their appearance, their pass in review and the technical demonstration,” said Capt. Brian S. Dawson, commander of U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa on Camp Lester.

Stars and Stripes reporter Cindy Fisher contributed to this report.

Okinawan police officers march in formation past thereviewing stands at the Okinawa Prefectural Police’s annual reviewin the Chatan-Choparking lot in Mihama American Village on Friday. While marching, the Okinawan police swung their forward hands up toshoulder level, unlike U.S. troops, who swing their hands about six inches to the front when marching.

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