The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Claudius Wil­liams

The theme for Po­lice Week 2015 is ‘Bridg­ing To­day’s Gap through Stronger Po­lice and Pub­lic In­ter­ac­tion”. From all in­di­ca­tions a gap does exis but it must first be un­der­stood that both the po­lice and the pub­lic have their roles to play in so­ci­ety. The po­lice have to be re­spon­si­ble for the main­te­nance of law and or­der, the pro­tec­tion of life and property, the preven­tion and de­tec­tion of crime, the ap­pre­hen­sion of of­fend­ers and the preser­va­tion of the peace.

The pub­lic, on the other hand, have to be law-abid­ing cit­i­zens and co­op­er­ate with the po­lice in help­ing to solve the var­i­ous prob­lems of crime in so­ci­ety. How­ever, in the ex­e­cu­tion of the du­ties of the po­lice in try­ing to main­tain law and or­der and pro­tect the good cit­i­zens, con­flicts do arise and th­ese tend to cre­ate a gap be­tween the po­lice and the pub­lic. It is in­cum­bent, there­fore, to find ways and means to nar­row the gap through stronger po­lice and pub­lic in­ter­ac­tion. One of the ways cho­sen was to get feed­back by some mem­bers of the po­lice as well as mem­bers of the pub­lic. Feed­back from the Po­lice:

There is need to bridge that gap through stronger and more pos­i­tive in­ter­ac­tion, and the pub­lic and the po­lice should work to­gether for the good of the so­ci­ety.

Ad­di­tion­ally, man­age­ment should en­sure that the po­lice carry out their du­ties in a more ef­fi­cient and pro­fes­sional man­ner.

Of­fi­cers should also be highly mo­ti­vated and re­warded for their good work.

Al­though there are some law-abid­ing cit­i­zens, oth­ers have lit­tle re­spect for the po­lice and want to break the law and do as they please. How­ever, forms of abuse and po­lice bru­tal­ity should be re­ported to the Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion. Over­all more re­sources should be pro­vided to help the po­lice in the ex­e­cu­tion of their du­ties. Feed­back from the Pub­lic:

There is need to bridge that gap to­day more than ever through stronger po­lice and pub­lic in­ter­ac­tion and to build that cor­dial re­la­tion­ship be­tween both par­ties. There seems to be a lack of trust and con­fi­dence in the po­lice, fear­ing that in­for­ma­tion given may be leaked, and some re­ports given to the po­lice are not taken se­ri­ously.

The po­lice should be move tact­ful, friendly and less ag­gres­sive in their method of ap­proach.

Good po­lice of­fi­cers should be com­mended while cor­rupt ones should be expelled.

Spe­cial train­ing should be given to the po­lice when deal­ing with men­tal pa­tients. Some are too quick to pull the trig­ger. Sug­ges­tions to Bridge that Gap: 1) Divine in­ter­ven­tion is nec­es­sary in find­ing a so­lu­tion. 2) Com­mu­nity polic­ing, which is based on a pos­i­tive work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the pub­lic, is the way to go. It can also bring about a change in val­ues on how peo­ple be­have. 3) Ed­u­cate the pub­lic as well as the po­lice in in­ter­per­sonal hu­man re­la­tions. This can be done through so­cial me­dia, schools and town hall meet­ings. 4) Use sports and other so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties to strengthen the re­la­tions be­tween the two par­ties. 5) Use mu­sic through the Po­lice Band to en­ter­tain the pub­lic in var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties. The use of drama and poetry can be very ef­fec­tive. 6) The church and other in­sti­tu­tions can also help.

In clos­ing I hope that the views ex­pressed above will help the po­lice as well as the pub­lic to bridge that gap through greater and more pos­i­tive in­ter­ac­tion by both par­ties.

Claudius Wil­liams SRP 48 en­listed in the RSLPF in Septem­ber of 1978. He served as sec­re­tary of

spe­cial re­serve for a num­ber of years and has writ­ten sev­eral ar­ti­cles

for Po­lice Week.

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