Women police officers from the Northern Division today relayed a friendly message to schoolchildren as they embarked on the latest of three initiatives to foster stronger relationships with them.
“We are your friends,” some 15 officers declared as an initiative dubbed Touchdown launched at Lester Vaughn, Frederick Smith, Darryl Jordan and Grantley Adams Memorial schools.
Inspector Janice Ifill told Barbados TODAY: “We are just focusing on the students and having formal conversations about actions and consequences, peer pressure, positive influences and generally doing the right thing starting from now, because as we have been telling them, there are 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds, which is only three or four years older than them committing a number of horrendous crimes.
“So we’re trying to nip it in the bud at this stage to let them know that is not the road and to let them know the police officers are their friends and if they know of anything they can speak to us, communicate with us one on one if they see something that is not right.
“We are coming to them today to let them know we welcome them and we have open arms and they can come to us because we really need to take back our society in a good way and in quick time.”
A similar project – Soft Touch – had also been carried out by women police constables in the Crab Hill, St Lucy area, which she described as a “soft approach” to policing.
Inspector Ifill said there were also plans to go into primary schools under a third outreach operation, to be called Tender Touch.
“We intend to go into the primary schools, but we haven’t gone there yet, but so far we have been greeted with good responses from both the schools and the public at large so we think we are getting somewhere,” Inspector Ifill said.