Trinidad and Tobago: “Recent upward trends in murders and assaults arising out of domestic disputes are being met head-on with the requisite conflict resolution training for officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service,” said Acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob on April 19, in his response to the recent incidents over the Easter weekend.
CoP (Ag) Jacob noted that he attended a ceremony where 31 officers graduated from a three-day Community Conflict Resolution Strategies training course last Thursday. The Acting CoP said the training was very well-timed, as these officers can now provide adequate and timely interventions in civil and domestic disagreements and de-escalate situations before they turn violent and even deadly.
The training was made possible by collaboration between the St Joseph Police Youth Club’s Conflict Resolution Centre and the Officium Training Ltd.
While addressing the graduation ceremony held on April 14, 2022 (Thursday), at the Police Academy, Acting Commissioner Jacob, said the training falls under the TTPS’ recently launched Operating Plan 2022 and Strategic Area 1- Community Partnerships.
He noted that the training had equipped the officers with specific skills- problem-solving, emotional awareness, social support and the ability to adapt to situations, which are critical in conflict resolution interventions. CoP (Ag) Jacob said that first responders and officers need to effectively navigate potentially volatile situations, so they do not spiral out of control and have unwanted consequences.
He said with this knowledge transfer; he is looking forward to positive results and a reduction in the reliance on violence to resolve conflicts.
While at the ceremony, CoP (Ag) Jacob announced that citizens would be able to access legal advice from the TTPS’ Legal Unit very soon.
CoP (Ag) Jacob also shared that talks are underway for continued partnerships among the TTPS PYCs and the University of the West Indies for trainees from its Mediation Programme to assist in the Community Oriented Policing Section (COPS) community mediation efforts.
The TTPS has already made great strides in dealing with matters of addressing various types of conflicts that occur in our communities through the Community Justice Clinic initiative. The Community Oriented Policing Section (COPS) has partnered with private attorneys. Since November last year, they have been giving free and confidential legal advice to communities across Trinidad and Tobago.