Patrick Shearer, the Chief Constable of Dumfries and Galloway Police, spoke at a special service this morning marking the end of the constabulary. In April it will merge with the other forces in Scotland to create a single police service.
Despite some concerns, the Chief Constable said he remains confident about the level of service that can be provided, and said it was importnat to mark the end of local policing as it currently is.
There is an added poignancy to the annual police memorial service being held in Dumfries this morning - it is the last one being held before the local force is disbanded.
Dumfries and Galloway constabulary is being amalgamated into the 'Police Service of Scotland' on the 1st of April.
Critics have warned that the creation of a country wide force could see local concerns and issues lost amid wider national problems. The SNP Government insist that the changes will lead to a more efficient force, able to deliver both results and budgetary savings.
A plaque will be unveiled at St Michael's Church in Dumfries during the ceremony, and the man currently in charge of the local force, wants the occasion to be a happy one.
As opposed to talking about the end of the force we wanted to celebrate 65 years of committed and dedicated service by all the officers and staff of Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary over the years. These are changing times and indeed this is the biggest change which the policing of our area will have faced in 65 years of existence. There is much to celebrate and indeed much to look forward to as we move into a new era of policing across Scotland in general and Dumfries and Galloway in particular.**
– Chief Constable Patrick Shearer, Dumfries and Galloway Police