– commits to youth development
Ranks in ‘B’ Division were on their toes for the past week with a new Commander heading to Berbice. Visible developmental works were seen at the Central Police Station (Headquarters) in New Amsterdam and its environs, while ranks were seen “up and about” under the leadership of Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken.
On Friday, Commander Hicken met with businessmen and women in the heart of New Amsterdam, a location considered to be a commercial hot spot. On foot with his team inclusive of the Traffic Head, Timothy Williams, Crime Head, Chabinauth Singh and two junior ranks, they walked the streets of the township and throughout the market. Hicken gave vendors and citizens an opportunity to vent their immediate concerns and interacted with the youths who were around.
Some hire car drivers complained about a space for parking and were given an on-the-spot solution by the Commander, who immediately instructed the Traffic Head to implement the strategy. Hicken also promised that more ranks will be visible around the area as a way of providing added security. This was welcomed with loud praises and smiles from particularly the business persons.
He said that, “it is important that I interact with the business community so I can start having initial concerns. We want to work with the media, and not in isolation, and you are going to find me doing a lot of work within a short space of time, because I need to have a proper understanding of what is going on within the community”. Hicken added that one of the key communities that will get his attention is Angoy’s Avenue.
He further added that youths will be a primary focus since “youth development is critical to me. As somebody who has been in operation for most of my life in this force, I understand how vulnerable youths can be, so you are going to be seeing a lot of community work coming out of the division, and a lot of foot patrols where the markets are”. He stressed that visibility is important since it serves as a deterrent.
It was further underscored by the Commander that it is critical for the members of the public to have access to the leadership of the division “because we can mitigate against anything that is escalating. Similarly, we would like you to call us and tell us if there is something that we need to know. We are members of the civil society, the only thing that is different between us and the public is our uniform, but when the uniform is off we are back to civilian life. The police will start to develop capacity in the community because this is a part of our role”.
The Assistant Commissioner divulged that there will be ongoing training of ranks in the division under his leadership with a focus on conflict resolution that will be dealt with internally with the ranks, in preparation to interact with the public and to avoid unnecessary confrontations.
Additionally, the media was also given the opportunity to witness ranks at the Berbice Bridge checkpoint during their stop and search operation. Deputy Commander Wayne DeHearte led the mini tour. The initiative to have ranks round the clock at the checkpoint was implemented by Deputy Commissioner Lyndon Alves who served as the Commander for the Division prior to Hicken. This, Hicken said, will continue, given its success.
Hicken served as head of Police Operations from April 2017 – September 2018. He was posted to B’ Division from September 3.
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