Community Police Officers on Bicycles to Reach out to the Population

A Canadian police officer working with the PNH in the market.

Public activity aimed at connecting with the population.

A police officer from the PNH bicycle brigade giving a child safety tips.

December 20, 2013 – Launched on June 20th, 2013, the bicycle brigade is a new, specialized unit within the Police Nationale d’Haïti (PNH). Its goal is to reach out to the population to better serve and protect the people. Using bicycles allows police officers to patrol sectors that are difficult for vehicles to access, and makes them more visible and approachable.

These Haitian community police officers were trained by Canadian police officers (UNPol), from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), as part of the PNH’s 2012–2016 development plan.

According to Inspector Jean-Ernest Célestin, Commander of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and coordinator of MINUSTAH’s community police unit: “This initiative is particularly well-adapted to the realities in Haiti. It is also an excellent transfer of Canadian “know-how” in the police services field.”

After Croix-des-Bouquets, Pétionville, Delmas, Cité Soleil and Les Cayes, it was the city of Jacmel’s turn to welcome a new bicycle brigade on December 4th, 2013. The goal for 2014 is to deploy nearly 160 new patrollers in every region of the country.

“The presence of a bicycle police officer in a community is very important. His accessibility allows his to build a bond of trust with the people, which increases their feeling of security,” said Inspector Célestin.

Nearly 90 Canadian police officers are currently assigned to work with MINUSTAH. They are responsible for ensuring that the United Nations’ mandate is respected and for training PNH officers, while evaluating and identifying current needs and standards in terms of training.

Since the earthquake, Canadian police officers have shown leadership in very difficult working conditions, such as displaced persons camps. The participation of Canadian police officers in MINUSTAH is a key element of Canada’s engagement in Haiti.

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