Saint Lucia police Monday began a one-week training session in human rights and social justice.
The session is being spearheaded by Howard University Lecturer and Human Rights expert, Doctor Edwin Powell.
It is being held at the National Apprenticeship Programme Conference Room in Vieux Fort and has been organised by the Police Welfare Association (PWA).
PWA President, Travis Chicot, told St Lucia Times that some 40 officers are receiving the human rights and social justice training.
He explained that although the majority of the participants are police officers, firefighters, ports police officers and representatives of the City Police are also benefitting from the initiative.
“We expect to have a very transformational session between today and Friday,” the PWA President declared.
“It is one of the courses which we believe is important at this point in time, understanding the whole IMPACS and extra-judicial killing issues,” Chicot explained.
According to Chicot, the support for the initiative from the police Commissioner, the Minister of National Security, the Mayor of Castries and the local private sector has been ‘tremendous’.
“We are really elated about this course to see how best we can open the corridors of discussion in terms of how best we can get our members back at the regional level to participate in a number of training sessions,” he told St Lucia Times.
Chicot said the training will not end with the one-week human rights and social justice session in Vieux Fort.
“Some time in May – June, we probably will have a number of training sessions,” he noted, adding that they will include training in de-escalation, where officers can use voice commands to deal with tense situations.
“It is not going to be just persons siting down in a classroom listening, but I can assure you that the training is going to be really transformational. The whole issue is police reform,” Chicot explained.
He said a number of modules that are already in use around the world will be examined and local cops intend to copy one that is working.