By: Kebba AF Touray
GIZ in partnership with the Gambia Police Force and the German Police Support Team, on Thursday 7th July 2022, ended a two weeks training on community oriented policing for Coordinators of the Gambia Police Force’s Community Policing Unit, aimed at strengthening the trained officers’ knowledge on community oriented policing.
Seven Stadtrecher, official of the German Police Support Team (GPST), reported that since the inception of their project, they have conducted large numbers of technical trainings in collaboration with the Gambia Police Force.
“Today we are here to witness the graduation of 20 police officers on community oriented policing which deals with core issue of policing,” he said; that it is imperative for the police to invest their time in their communities, to be able to build trust and relationship with their them.
“Without a positive relationship with your community, you will not be able to collect valuable intelligence and this will be difficult for you to sustain or improve your current policing efforts,” he said.
Ms. Enya Braun on behalf of the EU delegation to the Gambia, said the police are facilitators of democracy and as such, they must be able to navigate and negotiate through contending interests with fairness and impartiality. She said it is anticipated that after the training, participants will be able to design and deliver training modules on community policing, explain the philosophy of community policing to officers and citizens among others.
“Key component of the EU support to the Gambia is on transitional justice which includes the implementation of the Government White Paper on the TRRC Report, constitutional review and security sector reform,” she said.
Abdou Bojang on behalf of the GIZ, said they are honoured to be accorded the opportunity to contribute towards the ongoing reforms of the Gambia Police Force for them to be more responsive to the citizens’ needs.
“It is our ardent hope that through community policing, the police and citizens will be brought closer in a trusting relationship that will engender public confidence within the police,” he said.
CP Omar Darboe, Police Commissioner for Kanifing Region, said the GPF is undergoing a rigorous reform process in order to reposition itself in providing democratic policing services to the public; that with the current cohort of officers who did the training and are armed with the necessary tools for the implementation of community policing strategies, there is hope that the reform process will be a resounding success.