eThekwini’s top cop Steve Middleton leaves Durban Metro Police as the ‘best in the country’

Steve Middleton,, Picture: Supplied

Steve Middleton,, Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 31, 2023


Durban — Outgoing Durban Metro Police Service commissioner Steve Middleton has indicated that he leaves the service as the best metro police in the country.

Middleton was speaking on his last day as the commissioner, before retirement.

He thanked political leadership, the city manager, deputy city managers, heads and members of the metro police.

“In June 2018, I was asked by a journalist what legacy would you like to leave? And I indicated it’s already started.

“And that legacy would be that eThekwini Metro Police be the best Metro Police in the country. And after four years of being the head, I can categorically state to all members, you are by far the best Metro Police in the country.

“It’s been acknowledged at all levels in the country and even to a certain extent by other metro police. This is a best-practice municipality as far as Metro Police is concerned,” Middleton said.

“So to all members, to my family, thank you so much.

“Today, I step aside with pride,” Middleton said.

He said that having worked for 45 years and 26 days, and as he indicated last week to many members, it is now time for the family to shine, but mainly for Metro Police to take its legacy forward, all members be proud.

Speaking to IOL last week, Middleton said retiring after working for most of his life feels surreal.

“I feel nervous. I feel excited but to be honest, I've been working for the last 45 years and 22 days. My mind is tired,” Middleton said.

Middleton said his children are still young and he is looking forward to making memories with them.

Speaking of the highs as his tenure as commissioner, Middleton said he thanked God for His grace over his career.

“If I single out a specific highlight, I would have to say it's having structures in place that give officers freedom to do their jobs and perform their duties. It was part of wanting to create the best Metro Police in the country, but also to creating a conducive environment so that people enjoy coming to work,” he said.

Middleton said Metro Police have also achieved gender equality in having more women appointed into positions.

“Another high would be the number of new recruits we have seen. We have taken in 800 new recruits in the last four years and we've just done a new recruitment drive for an additional 200 recruits,” he said.

Speaking at a farewell lunch hosted at Sica’s Guest House last Friday, Middleton didn’t want to divulge too much of his plans for the future, but perhaps we could see him assisting with crime-fighting initiatives in the not-too-distant future.

For now, Middleton said he is happy to relax at home with his wife and children and giggled that despite the horrors of load shedding, for him the two hours that he gets to see his kids – out of their bedrooms, with TV games, cellphones and WiFi unplugged while they laugh in the lounge or take a dip in the family pool – is what he’s most looking forward to.

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