Community- Police Relations Boosted
Road Safety Tops the Agenda
By Cadet Inspt A. Jamanka.
The Gambia Police Force, through the office of the Press & PRO, in collaboration with the community policing unit and the police band, recently ended a nationwide tour, where members of the community were engaged on the importance of the concept of community policing and road safety. The event, sponsored by The Gambia ports Authority, Jah Oil Company, HG and sons Limited and the Gambia national transport Union, was meant to reinforce police efforts in making the Gambia safe and secured.
Speaking at the Buffer zone in Tallinding, where the event was launched, Police Commissioner for the Kanifing municipality, Ma Lamin Ceesay was with the view that the police force was living up to its mandate of protecting lives and properties of citizens and residents of the Gambia.
“Since inception in 1855, the Gambia police force had been living to expectations and that I can tell you today, that the police are ever ready to work for the protection of the people and that of their properties. We all know that road safety is a burning issue and that many a times, accidents are reported on our highways, some fatal and some not. This is the time to change the trend by driving with utmost care: that lives will be saved and properties, spared. Drivers should not only respect road signs but as well respect passengers, pedestrians and all other road users, avoid dangerous driving, which has claimed many lives, so far. The lives you safe, could be your own” Commissioner Ceesay said.
Whilst thanking the IGP for the laudable initiative, Commissioner Ceesay finally called on members of the community to partner with the police by volunteering useful information that will lead to crime prevention.
Administration Director at the KMC, also spoke on the importance of partnering with the police, which to him, will go a long way in securing the general populace.
Mrs. Naffie Sonko, representing the women of KM, underscored the importance of coming together and supporting the police, so as to create a conducive environment for our children and grandchildren to grow. She finally called on her women’s folk to join hands in advocating for peace and security within our midst.
Other speakers at the Tallinding meeting, includes Yamundaw Jagne, officer commanding, Gender and Child welfare unit, ASP Lamin Njie, Police PRO and ASP Saidou Jallow of the Immigration department, who all echoed similar sentiments.
The second leg of the community policing show, continued at Old Yundum, where regional police officials underscored the importance of police community relations and emphasized the need for all hands on deck for the safety of all and sundry. Amongst the speakers at the old yundum meeting, includes; Chief Superintendent of police, Famara Jobarteh, Officer Commanding Lower West Coast Region, Chief Inspector Edrissa Sey, Assistant Station Officer Old Yundum and a host of others.
Farafenni in the North Bank Region, was the third community to be visited by the community policing team, where regional Police Commissioner, Momodou Sowe emphasized the need for members of the Force to see themselves as servants of the people, not otherwise. According to him, the Gambia Police had seen tremendous changes and that
people must take up the challenges of partnering with the police, so as to achieve the common desire in creating a nation, which is totally secured and tranquil.
The North Bank Police boss finally paid homage to members of the community policing structure in the region, calling them, the best out of the rest. Other speakers at the Farafenni meeting, includes; Assistant Commissioner of Police, Buba Jassey, Alhagie Samboujang Jagne, Papa Tunkara and Omar Ceesay, President of the Gambia Transport union.
The tour party continues to Bansang in the CRR, where Police Commissioner, Amadou sabally welcomed the party and informed them of the tangible achievement, registered under his command. He revealed that the central river region, a vast area with large concentration of livestock, had been a volatile area as such, many farmers feared for their animals, which he said, is now a thing of the past thanks to community policing. Commissioner Sabally noted that the structures of the community policing concept in CRR are very strong and that thanks to members of the community, who he said made all possible in complimenting the job of the police, hence the laudable achievement.
In Brikamaba southern CRR, members of the community hailed the police for not only keeping them safe but also for creating that environment, where peaceful co existence flourishes.
In Basse, Upper river region, Police commissioner Ma Lamin Sankareh underscored the importance of supporting the police in policing the society. According to him, the major problem, facing law enforcement in his region, is traffic management, especially in Basse, noting that the town is highly congested and that motorists and pedestrians are responsible for that. He called on members of the community to respect the law and never see the police as their enemies but ordinary servants who are here to serve them. Mr Edrissa Keita, National Coordinator of TOSTAN Gambia, an NGO working with the community in URR, said their main focus was to bring about sustainable development to the people and that security was the most paramount thing in their agenda, as an NGO. He used the occasion to thank the URR police command for what he called their’ tirelessness in policing the region’. Other speakers in the Basse meeting, includes; Mr. Jamboye Camara, Mr. Omar Ceesay and ASP Lamin Badgie, Officer Commanding Community policing unit at the police Headquarters in Banjul.
A similar gathering was held in Brikama main car park. In Sibanor, Upper West Coast Region, members of the community policing team were welcomed by Divisional Police Chief of Operations, Chief Superintendent Dembo Trawally , who informed them that his area had been in the forefront of the concept and that ever since, much had been done to change the trend. He expressed profound gratitude to members of the community for their willingness to collaborate and partner with the police at all times. The Chief of Foni Bintang Modoulamin Jorbarteh echoed his delight in being affiliated with such laudable initiative. He urged the communities of foni Bintang to always work with the Police in the maintenance security, further encouraging them to volunteer useful information to law enforcement. Other speakers included the Alkalo of Sibanor Musa Saho, who expressed similar sentiments.