As part of ongoing efforts to forge closer relationships with residents, community police officers in East End and Long Look organised a drive to give local businesses a place to showcase their wares on Saturday.
Eight businesses from the Seventh and Eighth districts took part in the free event, selling specialty items including crafts, sweets and jewellery in the parking lot next to the East End Police Station, according to the Police Information Office.
The officers, who were led by acting Inspector Jacqueline Tom, set up tents and tables to facilitate entrepreneurs who operate online and in stores.
The community policing initiative was initially launched in 2014 as part of the force’s efforts to build stronger ties with residents, but it stalled after Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Since the programme relaunched in 2021, the officers have also spearheaded several family fun nights in coordination with the Chamber of Secrets Girls Club, movie nights for families, an annual Christmas party, back-to-school giveaways, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day events.
The officers have also participated in school assemblies, youth forums, community meetings, district beautification projects and reading programmes.
Others have resolved disciplinary issues in schools, offered business security advice, or otherwise worked at “building bridges” with the community, according to the PIO.
When the programme was originally launched in 2014, it included seven officers charged with spending the majority of their time in their respective communities, forging bonds with the people there and responding to their needs, according to then-Police Commissioner David Morris.
“I often refer to these officers as ‘agents of change,’” Mr. Morris said at the time. “They forge relationships with residents and businesspeople in order to bring together persons from all cultures to make a difference — especially in the more challenging communities.”
When the programme relaunched in 2021, it included 16 community officers.