Po­lice cel­e­brate Po­lice Week by seek­ing to “Bridge the Gap” with the pub­lic

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Faye-Chantelle Mon­de­sir

“Bridg­ing To­day’s Gap Through Stronger Po­lice In­ter­ac­tion” is the theme for this year’s Po­lice Week. And de­spite be­ing sur­rounded by dark clouds fol­low­ing the prime min­is­ter’s rev­e­la­tions of a “damn­ing” IMPACS re­port, the pro­gramme of ac­tiv­i­ties is in­tended to bring the pub­lic closer to the men and women who have sworn to pro­tect and serve us. This, they say, will be done by “re­mov­ing the men­tal lines of sep­a­ra­tion caused by fear and some­times mis­con­cep­tion of po­lice of­fi­cers and other law en­force­ment per­son­nel.”

Po­lice Week seeks to break the stigma and some­times neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions as­so­ci­ated with the po­lice and foster a more co­he­sive re­la­tion­ship be­tween po­lice and the pub­lic.

An of­fi­cer from one of the north­ern po­lice sta­tions told the STAR this week, “Some peo­ple like the po­lice, oth­ers don’t.” He added: “They think we are ma­chines, work wise.” An­other of­fi­cer from the Babon­neau po­lice sta­tion said, “I per­son­ally be­lieve peo­ple view the po­lice based on what they hear from other peo­ple, not nec­es­sar­ily from their per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences. How­ever, most peo­ple have neg­a­tive thoughts about po­lice, which most times they can’t jus­tify. Nei­ther do they have a rea­son for those thoughts. But again, I also be­lieve that most law-abid­ing cit­i­zens view the po­lice in the pos­i­tive. Those who may be af­fected by po­lice ac­tions, I think, still have con­fi­dence in them be­cause they still go to them for as­sis­tance. Kinda con­fus­ing, I know.”

Fol­low­ing a press launch last week, Po­lice Week 2015 saw the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee host­ing its an­nual ‘Po­lice Train’ last Sun­day Novem­ber 15th. This took the form of a mo­tor­cade-style marathon with of­fi­cers mov­ing from sta­tion to sta­tion is­land­wide while car­ry­ing the po­lice torch. The event com­menced 6 a.m. at the Gros Islet Po­lice Sta­tion.

Po­lice Week in­cludes a church ser­vice at the Choiseul Catholic Church tomorrow, Sun­day Novem­ber 22nd. Of­fi­cers will join par­ish­ioners for mass af­ter march­ing around the vil­lage. This will be fol­lowed by a ‘Fun Sports’ ac­tiv­ity at the Sab­wisha Beach/

Mon­day Novem­ber 23rd sees the open­ing of a po­lice ex­hi­bi­tion at City Hall on Peynier Street, Cas­tries. A panel dis­cus­sion will also take place; “De­vel­op­ment of Women in Law En­force­ment” will be the topic with high-rank­ing women from var­i­ous law en­force­ment agen­cies on the panel.

Po­lice will then ‘let down their hair’ with the an­nual Miss Royal Saint Lucia Po­lice Force and Al­lied Ser­vices Pageant at the Na­tional Cul­tural Cen­tre on Wed­nes­day Novem­ber 25th. Seven ladies will com­pete for the ti­tle: Michelle Daniel (Ms. M.A.C. Po­lice - Marigot, Anse La Raye and Ca­naries), Al­lyne Robin­son (Ms. Im­mi­gra­tion), Joeanna Ni­cholas (Ms. Prae­dial Lar­ceny), Jo­hanna Clarke (Ms. Guards­man), Ma­handa An­toine (Ms. Cus­toms), Zamara Fred­er­ick (Ms. Borde­lais Correctional Fa­cil­ity) and Shan­non Pre­ville (Ms. Saint Lucia Fire Ser­vice).

The po­lice switch it up on Fri­day Novem­ber 27th with a visit to the sick and shut-in, re­tired and serv­ing of­fi­cers when good cheer, ham­pers and to­kens of ap­pre­ci­a­tion will be pre­sented.

A fun walk is sched­uled for Satur­day Novem­ber 28th from Mi­coud to Mon Re­pos.

Ac­tiv­i­ties will cli­max with the Po­lice Awards at the of­fi­cial res­i­dence of the Prime Min­is­ter on Sun­day Novem­ber 29th.

The RSLPF is step­ping up ef­forts to im­prove the per­cep­tion of

the force dur­ing Po­lice Week.

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