Les Cayes – equipped with a Brigade of Police on bikes

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18 déc 2013

Les Cayes – equipped with a Brigade of Police on bikes

Since November 21st, a brigade of police snake through the streets of Les Cayes on bikes. Composed of eight agents, this brigade of community police has as its objective to get closer to the population of different districts of the town of Les Cayes - to better serve and protect.

Launched at an official ceremony attended by national and departmental authorities, the police and MINUSTAH, the bike brigade is 'a first' for the people of Les Cayes, where motorcycles outnumber bicycles.

Photo : Pascal Courtemanche UN/MINUSTAH Photo : Pascal Courtemanche UN/MINUSTAH

"The launch of the bike brigade reflects the will of the leaders of the PNH and other actors who accompany the Development Plan to better support the people of Les Cayes," said Acting Deputy Officer of the municipality, Jeannot Bataille.

The departmental delegate of the South, Serge Chery, sees in this initiative the need to "bring the police the to people by simple measures... It's not just to develop relationships between them, but also to develop neighborhood security that would allow more dialogue and sharing between police and population," said the delegate, congratulating the PNH.

Dressed in shorts and helmets - with the colors of the PNH, the new brigadiers were selected by the Departmental Directorate of the PNH. For three days last month [November], the brigadiers took part in training provided jointly by members of the Canadian police of MINUSTAH, reponding to a nationwide project, and their counterparts at the PNH.

A Canadian national of Haitian origin, the head of the Community Police of MINUSTAH, Jean Ernest Célestin, said that the training focused on patrolling techniques, the mechanics of the bicycles and intervention strategies and responses in emergency situations. Célestin also noted that Canada, through MINUSTAH, donated 80 bicycles to the PNH in order to form brigades on two wheels in the capital Port-Au-Prince and several other towns in Haiti.

The Acting Commissioner of the Les Cayes juristiction, Maître Joubert Amazan, called upon citizens to cooperate with the police in the interest of everyone: "Members of the brigade must respond to any alarms sounded by the population" he said.

Photo : Pascal Courtemanche UN/MINUSTAH Photo : Pascal Courtemanche UN/MINUSTAH

After a ceremony where members received certificates, the brigadiers demonstrated their skills in the courtyard of the police HQ of Les Cayes. Then, riding their all-terrain bikes, they proceeded together through several streets under the curious gaze of the local population.

The bike brigade of Les Cayes follows the deployment in the capital (on June 21st), of similar structures in the municipalities of Croix-des-Bouquets, Pétionville , Delmas, Cité Soleil - and soon downtown Port-Au-Prince.

In the further development of Haitian community policing, the town of Jacmel (in the Southeast ) will be the next to welcome a bike brigade.

Jean Kechnord Edmond