McGregor urges J'cans to befriend crime-fighters - SSP urges public to compliment and get to know police officers
Senior superintendent of Police Steve McGregor wants Jamaicans to make a greater effort to get to know their neighbourhood crime-fighters and socialise with them. It is a strategy he is convinced will go a far way in improving the relationship between the public and police and, in the long run, create a platform for effective community policing.
"I want you not only to go to our stations when something is wrong. When you're passing the August Town Police Station, just step inside and say to the police officer, 'I just come to say hi'. If you do that, it will change their whole focus on what is happening because they will say to themselves, 'You know, the people love us'. Just go in and say, 'Hi, I am Joan. I am from so and so and I am just passing through'," he appealed to residents of Kintyre in East Rural St Andrew on Thursday.
The seasoned crime-fighter, who was in charge of the West Kingston Police Division before being transferred to the
St James Police Division as commanding officer and who now heads the Community Safety and Security arm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), was addressing the official opening ceremony for the Kintyre Citizens' Association Community Resource Centre.
'Policeman, you handsome'
Even though he did not provide any empirical evidence, McGregor insisted that this friendly approach on the part of the public would go a far way in helping the police to handle the everyday stresses of their job.
"When you see my police officers going around doing their foot patrol, just go over and say, 'Policeman, you handsome', even when him nuh so boasy. You understand what I am saying? The way in which he will deal with the next person he engages will be different because you would have changed his whole perspective on what is happening," McGregor pointed out.
In fact, McGregor went on to challenge all Jamaicans to make an effort to befriend at least one member of the JCF.
"I implore every one of you who is inside here to today to have a police officer as a friend. Any person in Jamaica today who doesn't have a police officer as a friend is not so sensible. When you have something confidential to speak about, you are not going to call 119, but you will call your friend. When something is happening to you, if you call your friend, as a police, he will come more readily than the average police. Make the man that is in charge of August Town your friend. Find a police to be close to," he stressed.