Gabriella Ioppolo leaves the Messina Police Headquarters to take up a ministerial position in Rome

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By John

A new goodbye to the Peloritan city: Commissioner Gabriella Ioppolo greets Messina for the ministerial assignment that awaits her in Rome. Thus comes to an end the Messina police experience which has seen her engaged on the front line for the last 22 months.

The General Director of Public Security Gabriella Ioppolo, who had already served in the past at the Messina Police Headquarters covering strategic and top roles, including that of Chief of Staff, was appointed Police Commissioner of Messina in April 2022 and has, immediately, outlined priorities and guidelines to follow in a city ready to leave the Coronavirus emergency behind and to act as a stage for major events, sporting competitions, civil and religious events.

The first test for the correct and orderly management of public order was the Vasco Rossi concert, held in June 2022 at the “Franco Scoglio” municipal stadium with well over 40,000 fans. First event of a long series, concluded with the Pooh concert last December 2023 in Piazza Duomo. Appointments with large numbers which required particular attention and detailed safety devices from the police forces and other institutional actors, committed to guaranteeing their full enjoyment in a context of absolute safety.

Exceptional appointments which did not divert attention from the daily prevention and control activities of the territory, a strategic objective of the Messina Police Headquarters. A complex and varied territory characterized by areas with significant crime indices, which required the preparation, alongside the ordinary operational modulesof specific anti-crime plans which have led to a significant growth in people and vehicles checked, with a consequent notable increase in the population’s feeling of safety.

High attention on crimes such as drug dealing which led to the seizure of large quantities of drugs destined for the city market and turned the spotlight on a clearly growing phenomenon. Phenomenon inextricably linked to the consumption of narcotic substances which emerged during the course of additional safety devices put in place in order to guarantee the peaceful development of the nightlife in the street as well as in the main clubs and, in general, in the areas of greatest youth aggregation in the city and in province.

The analysis of the urban fabric and listening to its main representatives also led to the implementation of proximity services. At the same time, well-established projects such as “PretenDiamo Legalità” were followed, with the involvement of thousands of students, and new ones were developed such as “Scuole Sicure”, based on moments of discussion and reflection with school managers and teachers’ representatives, parents and students, on sensitive issues such as drug use, alcohol abuse and bullying.

The commitment of Police Commissioner Ioppolo has also been constant and continuous in another area, that of protecting victims of gender violence, where warnings for persecutory acts and/or domestic violence have been doubled over the last year.

At the end of this last assignment as Police Commissioner of Messina, Gabriella Ioppolo bids farewell to the city: «I thank the Prefect, who with his enlightened action has ensured the efficient and effective coordination of the Police Forces in all circumstances. I also thank the Mayor of the Metropolitan City of Messina and the Mayors of the other municipalities in the Province, the Judicial Authority in all its branches, the Archbishop of Messina and the Bishop of Patti, the Commanders of the other Police Forces present on the territory and all the military, civil and religious authorities for the precious, constant institutional closeness they have guaranteed me in these two years. My gratitude goes to the trade union organizations of the State Police and the Civil Administration of the Interior for having represented the needs of the staff, always with a spirit of fair discussion. A special thank you to the directors of the local press and to all communication professionals for their loyal collaboration in the daily sharing of information. My greatest thanks, however, must be addressed first and foremost to the citizens, who with their trust allowed the immediate intervention of the State Police, helping to make this wonderful city and the entire province safer. In Messina I leave an extraordinary team of policemen, who, led by exceptional officials – whom I once again thank from the bottom of my heart – will manage to maintain the high safety standards achieved. My most sincere wishes for good work go to the new Police Commissioner.”