“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 island-wide 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.