Monday, February 24 – Commissioner of Police David Morris led an appreciative audience through the rationale for Neighbourhood Policing in the Virgin Islands at a ceremony to launch the new initiative this morning at Police Headquarters as part of Police Week activities.
“Since my appointment, I have made it one of my priorities to establish Neighbourhood Policing because…when I spoke to the communities, the thing they always told me is that they want to see their own visible, dedicated police officer in their neighbourhoods. In fact,
they want to go back to the original (way of) policing some years ago. This is what we need to get back to where the public remembers who their officers are,” he said.
He noted that the assigned officers understand their responsibility since they applied for the positions based on that understanding. “They have also been in training and are now prepared for their roles and described them ‘agents of change’ as they forge relationships
with residents in order to make a difference especially in the more challenging communities,” he said.
Member of the Road Town Anti-Crime Group Ms. Eugenia O’Neal added her endorsement to the new initiative from a community perspective.
“I want to congratulate the RVIPF on this new initiative. It was one of the things we have been lobbying for for a very long time because community policing is key to crime reduction. Without the community and police working together in tandem, we will not achieve the
crime reduction I know we all want,” he said.
Police Constable Clive Potter, Neighbourhood Officer for the East End/Long Look area also gave remarks on behalf of himself and the six other neighbourhood officer in attendance.
This year’s Police Week activities will include the introduction of the Neighbourhood Officers to district representatives and community members.
Monday evening at 7pm, residents of Purcell Estate and Baughers Bay are invited to meet their new neighbourhood officer at OneMart Supermarket Parking Lot. The following evening (Tuesday), residents of the Lower Estate and Huntums Ghut are invited to meet their
neighbourhood officer at the Huntum’s Ghut Basketball Court. And finally on Thursday evening at 6pm, residents of East End/Long Look are invited to meet their neighbourhood officer at a Recruitment Fair hosted by the Community’s Consultative Group at the East End/Long
Look Community Centre.
Neighbourhood officers will also make school visits in their respective areas during the week.