|Eddie Ellison passed away on Jan. 29, 2007, after a long battle with cancer. An early LEAP member, Eddie seemed to be everyone’s “rock”. Policing, according to Eddie, meant solving people’s problems before they became so troublesome that “law enforcement” needed to be applied. He taught us great lessons, and he will be sorely missed.|
London Metropolitan Police
Eddie Ellison spent his thirty-year police career almost entirely within the Criminal Investigation Department of London’s Metropolitan Police. The majority of that time he operated out of New Scotland Yard.
He served three years on the Reserve Squad, known across the world as The Murder Squad, and seven years with Scotland Yard’s Drug Squad, three as their Operational Chief. Early years were spent countering drug importations at London’s Heathrow Airport, conducting undercover operations against major drug importers and distributors and leading detectives at the more challenging inner London Police Stations of Brixton and Paddington.
Ellison concluded his career as Detective Chief Superintendent, heading the Crime Policy Branch of Specialist Operations, a Department covering sections as diverse as the Robbery Squad, Royalty Protection, Special Branch, Fraud, Drugs and even the National Criminal Records Office and National Fingerprint Collection. He was attached to the working party of the Association of Chief Police Officers that established the National Criminal Intelligence Service and re-structured the Regional Crime Squads as a first step to the creation of the National Crime Squad.
Eddie’s unequalled UK police experience in the field of drug control made clear the futility of relying on prohibition to lessen the effects of drug misuse, which he identified as a threat to society. On retirement, Eddie served as trustee of Release, a national drug charity and became patron of Transform, a UK drug reform organisation.
Eddie believed legalisation presents the best opportunity to reduce drug abuse and the crimes associated with drug prohibition. An international speaker, Ellison was invited to lead debate at Rotary Clubs, Universities, National Party Political Conferences, national television network programs, and international drug policy conferences in the United States and Australia. Eddie was party to the production of the “Angel Declaration,’ a forward looking document outlining the potential for legalisation, which was praised by the Home Affairs Select Committee reviewing UK drug policy.
Ellison recognised that the international impact of US drug policies are the major obstacle to Europe’s evolution to a compassionate, supportive and educational approach. Eddie joined Law Enforcement Against Prohibition because he believed LEAP presents a logical, experienced, respected, yet critical, view of American drug policy.