In the aftermath of a weekend incident at Dennery involving police officers and residents who were accused of obstructing law enforcement officers, the President of the Police Welfare Association (PWA), Travis Chicot, has asserted that it is time to beef up community policing.
“I think it is a very important time for us to restrategise, to really look at beefing up our community policing – how we infiltrate communities in terms of going inside of there not only for crime reduction, but for a number of other police opportunities the police can have in dealing with situations,” Chicot observed.
He was a guest on Wednesday’s edition of RCI’s Newsspin.
As a result of the Dennery incident, part of which was recorded and went viral after being posted on social media, a 26 year old male from Marc, Bexon, was arrested and was remanded in custody at Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) when he appeared in court.
The man, identified as Kennis Charles, had initially put up resistance as an agitated crowd gathered, with some persons being very vocal in criticising the police.
Charles had earlier been shown walking behind a police officer while shouting insults at the law enforcement official.
The officer, who had been exchanging words with Charles, left, returned with armed backup and arrested him.
Charles was charged with obstructing the police in their duties, using insulting words, resisting arrest and assaulting the police.
“I believe it is a situation that can be solved. I think that as a police force what is important at this point is for us to go down to the community, have some conversations with those young men, speak to them even while the matter is within the courts,” the PWA President stated.
Chicot suggested that high ranking police officers could go to Dennery to explain to young men that they stand to gain nothing by behaving in an unlawful manner.
“I don’t think all is lost for us, but it is a good opportunity for us as an organisation to work with the community to see how best we can deal with situations,” he observed.
He suggested that if it is believed that in some communities the police approach is weak, it can be strengthened.
“It is a clear indication that there is a lack of guidance and if the police are in the community they should take the opportunity to guide those young men in moving forward,” the PWA President said.