A community policing committee was officially launched in Calibishie on Friday, at the Calibishie Resource Centre. This initiative is intended to help reduce crime in that area. Officials hope to develop closer relations between the public and police.
During his address at the ceremony, Police Chief Daniel Carbon urged police officers to continue making their presence felt in communities. He advised them to “Respond in a timely manner to complaints by residents, & participate in activities in the community. Always maintain a healthy relationship with the people.” However, he also acknowledged that community support is critical to the success of the programme island wide.
Community policing has been implemented in many countries worldwide, including Barbados, and has been practised informally in Dominica for decades. The first community policing initiative in Dominica was launched in Grand Bay in 1997, and according to Carbon, it contributed significantly to building better community and police partnership. He pointed out that “Certain aspects of community policing are still in existence in that community”.
Carbon said “The community policing plan advocates for the communities and police to work together in identifying problems, developing solutions to deal with the problems, with community and police working together in partnership”. He informed that a beach patrol which was implemented long before the launching has contributed to making the Calibishie beaches safer.
Coordinator of the Community Policing Committee, Superintendent Cuffy Williams, said the program will be launched in communities across Dominica, in an effort to create “a safe and secure” country. He noted that the members of the committee have been working tirelessly, and understand that the police cannot do this alone.
He noted achievements to date, such as “The implementation of a school program at the North East Comprehensive School, where police officers have been continuously visiting the school to deliver lectures on various topics of interest, provide security during school activities, and dealing with minor skirmishes. It is expected that the program will be expanded to other schools, like the Dominica Grammar School and the Goodwill Secondary School, to name just a few.”
Meantime Acting Prime Minister Ian Douglas said the government is ready to join other nations in the region who have implemented community policing as an effective strategy to improve the quality of life, “by promoting and maintaining a law abiding society.”
He said a successful community policing programme will bring more visitors, and more investors generating more revenue “for all of us”, and also creating more employment.” It will also lead to the reduction in the fear of crime, and an increase in respect for law and the rights of all citizens,” Douglas added.
The community policing committee consists of thirteen (13) members from cross sections of the community. The initiative will next be launched in Woodford Hill, then Morne Prosper, and later in Penville.
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