Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, commended the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force for reaching out to the public through community policing activities, helping to foster good working relationships between the police and the people they serve Saturday at the annual Christmas/New Year Community Party held at the Tabernacle Police Station.
“Tonight we witnessed another successful activity put on by the Tabernacle Police, and I want to commend Sergeant Simeon Liburd for this effort at outreaching to the community,” said Prime Minister Harris.
The Prime Minister, who is also the Area Parliamentary Representative, said there was a very good turnout from the district covered by the Tabernacle Police, which stretches from Lodge Village to Bellevue representing a broad section of the community.
The party, which had started at 3 p.m., began with the children’s party which ran to 7 p.m. featuring activities including bouncing castles, tarpaulin and masquerades. Boys played football before they were presented with individual gifts by Prime Minister Harris, and food was provided for all present.
“The adults, each time they come ,they really do have a good time and it is a good event to have the community mingling, being better acquainted with the police officers and knowing that we are part of the same community, that the police needs them as much as they need the police to maintain the peace,” said the prime minister. “By developing these strong bonds, we hope that it will be easier to get intelligence and information to assist the police to ensure that we keep crime low within the country and when crimes have been committed, they could count upon the community to provide information that would lead to the arrest of those who are the perpetrators.”
The adult party ran from 7 p.m. to midnight. Among those present were Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy; Assistant Commissioners of Police, Andre Mitchell, and Adolph Adams; Superintendent Travis Rogers, who is in charge of District B; Inspectors John Bergan and Jacqueline Browne; Director of Forensics Department, Mrs Latoya Lake-Marshall; and retired Commissioner of Police Austin Williams.
“So, it is a good exercise that we continue and clearly the community looks forward to participating,” said the prime minister. “They come, they spend a good time here and so we hope that this will continue and that the police officers, of course, will come to see members of the community as their partners in law enforcement, just as the members of the communities must see the police as their partners in maintaining the peace, and ensuring a calm within the country.”
Activities for adults included a game of dominos, which saw Prime Minister Harris play opposite Commissioner of Police Brandy teaming up to play against retired Commissioner of Police Austin Williams and Mr Raul Dorsett in the opening rounds. They were refereed by Sergeant Simeon Liburd, who along with retired COP Williams, are active domino players playing for different teams in the Constituency Number Seven Domino League.
The annual Christmas/New Year Community Party is part of the community policing initiative to allow for the integration between the police and the communities, according to Sergeant Simeon Liburd, who is in charge of the Tabernacle Police Station. Community policing events are part of a series of activities organised by the Force to foster stronger ties with the people they serve.
“These are ways in which we use to integrate with the community; get to have socialisation with the people, and in that way you get to build their confidence with the police and as time goes by you will be able to get them to talk to you and you likewise to talk to them,” he said.“Community policing is about integrating communities and getting people to understand that they are each other’s watchman, so to speak.”
“Prime Minister Harris as usual was here as the Member of Parliament for the area, where he also helps with the distribution of the gifts to the children, The more we integrate the Prime Minister in what is happening here, I think it lends support for the public to want to give more support to the police,” he added.