Officers undergo training in Community Policing

The Royal St Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) held its opening ceremony of the “Train the Trainers Community Policing Programme” on Monday this week. The ceremony took place at the Police Training Academy.
Commissioner of Police, Vernon Francois says the commencement of this training is a confirmation of the promise made in their policing plan for 2012/2013.
“The mission statement of the police department speaks a lot about community oriented policing. Also our 2012/2013 policing plan indicated that we would be going in the direction of community oriented policing. For it to happen really, it has to start with training. We must therefore train our police officers in areas of community oriented policing.
“We have invested some time and money in first of all, training a set of trainers so that they will be the ones to deliver community police training programmes throughout the department when this actually gets underway,” said Francois.
Addressing the fourteen prospective trainees, Francois reminded the officers of their duty as police officers. He further stated that this will be a service driven initiative which will allow the officers to effectively train others in the field.
“It is a huge cost to the government of St Lucia to do the training but we think it is absolutely important. If we are going to talk about police officer should go in the area of community policing, then we must train them the respective area so that they will be able to understand what is community oriented policing.”
The Commissioner explained that the instructor, John Quayle operates a school called the Springboard Institute. The Institute, he says is a management training school with a background in community oriented policing based on his time and service in the United Kingdom.
“The plan is for the training to be accredited so that the University in England can certify the officers in training. They will then be accredited as trainers in the community oriented training programme,” said Francois
Director of Springboard Training Development Center, John Quayle says he believes this an excellent attempt in preparing the general population for community policing. He says despite the training, the officers are already involved in community policing.
“Certainly the Royal St Lucia Police Force has been involved making this as part of their strategy. What we are doing is helping to facilitate that process and ensure that it is done really effectively.
“We are obviously aware that they are committed in making this a reality. The Police Force and the Commissioner have already indicated how committed they are in making this program work and our role is to make sure that we will do what we can to help them achieve that aim.
“There is no reason why community policing shouldn’t work in St Lucia. When you look at the history all around the world, a lot of police forces have actually spent some time integrating community policing in their country. Here in St Lucia, you are looking for the traditional model of community policing which will take some time and a lot of effort but in the end, I believe there is no reason why it shouldn’t work.”

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