Police plan to improve community relations
By HERMAN ROOP DASS Monday, January 21 2008
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From left, Ian Alleyne, President of Trinidad and Tobago Crime Watch; John Jaglal, 1st vice-president of the All Trinidad General Workers' Trade Union...
THE Trinidad and Tobago Police Service wants to develop a healthy working relationship with the wider community.
“We do not want an antagonistic public relations approach, but one that will bring about a closer relationship to ensure a better Trinidad and Tobago,” said acting Police Inspector Reginald Francis, head of the Special Branch Unit in Couva.
“Our aim is to improve the image of the police and all external organisations must assist in the process.”
Ag Inspector Francis admitted that the Police Service had become the target for “sometimes unnecessary criticism.
“What we are doing now is to prevent further harm with the hope of restoring confidence in the system.”
Ag Inspector Francis was speaking at a meeting with representatives of the Couva community at the Venture Credit Union Society Limited on Friday night.
“What we have witnessed today is an encouraging sign,” said Ag Inspector Francis, who called on citizens to “feel free to talk to us on any topic within our portfolio and we give the assurance that we exist to help in putting matters right.”
“We want to bridge whatever gap exists between ourselves and the rest of the nation,” he stressed.
He said the meeting was “a turning point in the right direction to heal whatever misgivings exist between the Police and the wider public”.
Lily Heerai, secretary of the Couva/Pt Lisas Chamber of Commerce, saw the move by the Police Unit as a step in the right direction.
“It is a marvellous strategy by the police to try whatever means possible to get the public on their side,” she said.
Ramchand Rajbal-Maraj, president of the Caroni Association of Village Councils, complimented the police for their initiative and noted that “unity is a catalyst to fight crime and other negative forces in the country”.
Also praising the police plan was Ian Alleyne, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Crime Watch.
He said: It is only when the police get the full support of residents that we will have a beautiful country.”