Officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) assigned in Brewerville and its environs have collaborated with members of the community in launching a community watch team to complement the work of the police in combating crime in the area.
The launch of the ‘Community Watch Team of Police Zone Six and its Depot’ over the weekend attracted hundreds of residents to the Zone Six Police Station in Brewerville City.
The watch team was empowered with assorted items including torch lights, eight cartons of assorted batteries, several dozen whistles, packs of coffee and tea and a motorbike.
The items were provided to the team by former Police Director, Marc Amblard, who is also a resident of the community.
Nelson Freeman, Police Chief of Public Safety, said that the watch team was set up in the area “because police have over the years observed the alarming rate of rape cases and multiple crimes in the community, which have claimed the attention of the government.”
“Zone six,” he said, “is not one of the hot spots for criminal activities, but the increasing incidents of rape in the area have claimed the attention of the government to the extent that the police is constrained to increase its presence in the community.”
Col. Freeman admitted that police officers cannot be assigned to every corner to fight crime without the support of community members. He therefore called on residents of every community in the country, including residents of Brewerville, to collaborate with the police to curb the wave of criminal activities.
He revealed that police in Western countries “with so much sophistication, like the United States” depend on members of the community to help effectively fight crimes.
Col. Freeman urged residents of the six communities in Brewerville to see the police as their friends and work with them through the leadership of the watch forum.
He also assured the residents that the police, through the instrumentality of Director Chris C. Massaquoi, is doing everything possible to weed out “unprofessional individuals” from the force, adding that in every organization there are bad apples that need to be thrown out.
“The way we conduct ourselves can also be the reason why members of the public do not sometimes interact with us. But we are doing everything to get out unprofessional officers in order to restore public confidence in the police,” he added.
Former Police Director Amblard, who initiated the formation of the community watch team, said as a member of the community, he was not happy with repeated reports of crimes being committed in the community.
“For me, I am protected because my house is fenced-in. But many of my neighbors are exposed to would be criminals, and so I decided to help,” he said, as he presented the “crime deterrent and or fighting items” to Zone Six Commander, Blama Yancy.
Amblard turned over the assorted items to the leadership of the watch team through the police. He also expressed gratitude to members of the community who contributed money to buy the items.
Zone Six Police Commander, Blama B. Yancy lauded Mr. Amblard and other community members who contributed toward the establishment of the watch team.
Yancy (CO Six) said that since he took over the Brewerville detail some time ago, the relationship between the police and the locals has been cordial.
Commander Yancy announced that he will soon inaugurate an 11-room community initiated police station, which is near completion in Brewerville City.