Community Engagement Remains a Key Pillar in Police Training

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 13, 2019 (SKNIS): Enhanced community policing is a key component of the ongoing success of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force in ensuring citizen security and safety. Instructors preparing the 31 recruits of Course 43 have stressed the value of this important concept to the men and women poised to carry on the work of the noble agency.

“During my opening speech to the recruits, I mentioned that community policing will be one of our pillows that we will sleep on during the training,” recalled Inspector Eldrin Dickenson, the Commandant of the Police Training School. That was in late January 2019.

The community-focused initiative was based on five key elements: Community mapping to identify policing risk; Increased visibility and familiarity of police officers; Problem-solving with the community to identify priorities; Effective and inclusive communication with the community; and Offering diversion and educational programmes.

The recruits were divided into teams, and with assistance from instructors mapped out assigned areas within proximity of the training school.

“We had at least four areas covered where they went out with their instructors, [and] got an opportunity to speak to the persons living there … and they got the feeling as to what it is to actually be a part of community policing,” Inspector Dickenson said. “Now with all of this being done when they would have graduated on August 14, and they are placed whether in Basseterre or an outstation, they will understand what it is to go around participating in community policing.”

The commandant of the Police Training School highlighted the value of community policing to the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.

“It’s basically to increase the confidence in police and (community) safety; reduce victimisation; improve public support and trust in the police; reduce crime and antisocial behaviour; improve community cohesion; increase in the community wellness and cooperation with the police, and finally to provide community intelligence resulting in positive police results,” Inspector Dickenson stated.

The members of Course 43 will be able to put the skill and knowledge learnt at the training school into practice following the Passing Out Parade scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, August 14, 2019. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m.

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