Monday, 3 September 2007 9:16 AM

Workshops to Build a Better Police Force

Solomon Islands officers and their RAMSI counterparts are learning how they can better work together in their efforts to rebuild the nation.

A series of capacity development workshops called 'Making a Difference' has been organised and attended by nearly 40 participants from across different areas of the Solomon Islands-RAMSI partnership.

Two of the workshop participants, Assistant Commissioner Edmond Sikua from Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF) and his RAMSI advisor, Chris Cooper, from the Participating Police Force (PPF), are enthusiastic about how they can use what they learn at the workshop to build the capacity of the Solomon Islands Police Force.

Mr Sikua said there was a lot of benefit for the Solomon Islands Police Force, together with their advisors, to learn about capacity development.

"Capacity development is not about RAMSI, it is about the Solomon Islands Police Force and what we want to do. We need to think about where the SIPF needs to go and what we want the PPF to do to help us get there," Mr Sikua said.

He said that rebuilding the Solomon Islands Police Force with the assistance of RAMSI's PPF was a long term process, but that there were already signs of progress.

Mr. Sikua said the focus of PPF advisors has changed from the day RAMSI first came, from doing police work such as investigations and going on patrol.

"Now advisors have stepped back and we are getting them to focus on improving our policies and procedures," Mr. Sikua said.

He said one example is making a rule that when a call for police assistance comes from the community, police officers respond to that call straight away, which contributes to "... helping us do our work properly".

RAMSI PPF advisor, Chris Cooper, who has worked with the SIPF for over two years, said the workshop was a chance for both him and his counterpart to reflect on what the SIPF wants to do in terms of capacity development.

"Our role here with the PPF is to help the SIPF achieve what they want to achieve. This workshop is another way that we can both learn how to do that better," he said.

The workshops started last Thursday and continues this week.

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