Inspector Eldrin Dickenson, the Commandant of the Police Training School.

As the members of Course 43 prepare to put their training into practice following the Wednesday’s Passing Out Parade, instructors have stressed enhanced community policing is a key component of the ongoing success of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force in ensuring citizen security and safety.

“During my opening speech to the recruits (in January), I mentioned that community policing will be one of our pillows that we will sleep on during the training,” recalled Inspector Eldrin Dickenson, the Commandant of the Police Training School.

The community-focused initiative is based on five key elements: Community mapping to identify policing risk; Increased visibility and familiarity of police officers; Problem-solving with the community to identify priorities; Effective and inclusive communication with the community; and Offering diversion and educational programmes.Recruits were divided into teams, and with assistance from instructors, mapped out assigned areas within proximity of the training school.

“We had at least four areas covered where they went out with their instructors, [and] got an opportunity to speak to the persons living there … and they got the feeling as to what it is to actually be a part of community policing,” Inspector Dickenson said. “Now with all of this being done when they would have graduated on Aug. 14, and they are placed whether in Basseterre or an outstation, they will understand what it is to go around participating in community policing.”

The commandant of the Police Training School highlighted the value of community policing to the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.

“It’s basically to increase the confidence in police and (community) safety; reduce victimisation; improve public support and trust in the police; reduce crime and antisocial behaviour; improve community cohesion; increase in the community wellness and cooperation with the police, and finally to provide community intelligence resulting in positive police results,” Inspector Dickenson said.