Bridging ThePolice-Public Gap Through Stronger Interaction

By Cpl. Claudius Williams


BEFORE I begin to express some views on the theme for Police Week: “Bridging Today’s Gap through Stronger Police and Public Interaction,” I would like to sincerely congratulate the members of the entire Royal St. Lucia Police Force on the occasion of the celebration of Police Week 2015. May the Almighty continue to bestow His blessing on the Acting Commissioner of Police, his deputy and the rest of his management team.

From all indications it appears that a gap exists today between the police and the public and there is need to try and bridge that gap through stronger police and public interaction. However, it must first be understood that both the police and the public have their roles to play in the 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 the society. However, in the execution of the duties of the police in trying to maintain law and order and protect the good citizens, conflict does arise and this tends 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.
1) 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.
2) Management should ensure that the police carry out their duties in a more efficient and professional manner.
3) Officers should be highly motivated and rewarded for their good work.
4) 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.
5) Forms of abuse and police brutality should be reported to the Police Complaints Commission.
6) More resources should be provided to help the police in the execution of their duties.

Feedback from the Public
1) There is need to bridge that gap today through stronger police and public interaction and build that cordial relationship between both parties.
2) There seems to be a lack of trust and confidence in the police fearing that information given may be leaked.
3) Some reports given to the police are not taken seriously.
4) The police should be move tactful, friendly and less aggressive in their method of approach.
5) Good police officers should be commended while corrupt ones should be expelled.
6) 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 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) Educating the public as well as the police in interpersonal human relations. This can be done through the social media, the schools and town hall meetings.
4) Use sports and other social activities to strengthen that interaction and relations between the two parties.

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