The new Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Jikwoyi police division, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Omeh Grace has said she will apply community policing model in her new post. She has just been posted to the division recently and promised to join forces with the Police Community Relations Committee in Jikwoyi in order to curb crime to the barest minimum.
Community policing, or community-oriented policing, is a strategy of policing that focuses on police building ties and working closely with members of the communities by forming partnerships, enhancing organizational effectiveness, and developing problem-solving techniques in order to proactively address the cause of crime and social disorder and the fear of crime.
Community policing creates partnerships between law enforcement agency and other organizations like government agencies, community members, nonprofit service providers, private businesses and the media. The media represent a powerful pattern by which the police can communicate with the community. Community policing recognizes that police cannot solve every public safety problem alone, so interactive partnerships are created. This policing model uses the public for developing problem-solving solutions.
Community policing can be compared to traditional policing which is to protect civilians from criminals. It is done by identifying and apprehending criminals while gathering enough evidence to convict them. Whereas community policing model’s main goal is to assist the public in establishing and maintaining a safe, orderly social environment. While apprehending criminals is one important goal of community policing it is not necessarily the most important goal. Community policing is concerned with solving the crimes that the community is concerned about, and solving civilian concerns by working with and gaining support from the community. The most effective solutions include coordinating police, government resources, citizens, and local business to address the problems affecting the community. Through this process the get in touch with the community in a variety of ways including; town meetings, meeting with interest groups etc.
It is this innovative policing model that CSP Omeh Grace wants to put in practice in Jikwoyi. She has put in place a measure to eliminate hold-up at the one of the busiest junction in Jikwoyi. She deploys over 20 police personnel to the junction every morning from 6.30am to 9.00am.
She is of the opinion that the police cannot do much without information from the public, hence the promise to carry everybody who wants to partner with the police along.
She has had several meetings with the PCRC and the community leaders notably the community leader of Jikwoyi within the short period she has been around.