The operational aspects of community policing at its best was demonstrated last week when the RSIPF’ Deputy Commisioner, Juanita Matanga, OBE, QPM, visited Taro Market and Vurango Village where she held awareness talks with elders and village people telling them of the threat of Covid-19 entering the country from Bougainville where coronavirus cases had risen sharply in recent weeks.
Deputy Commissioner Matanga re-emphasied the threat posed by the coronavirus when she later spoke with community members at Kariki Village.
She told the community members that the Covid-19 threat was a challenging issue and especially for those living Choiseul and the Western border areas.
DCP Matanga reportedly said, “COVID-19 has impacted on our normal norms and practices including interactions with your people on Bougainville. We must accept that we are not in normal times. That is the reason why I have to come down to talk with you so we can work together to fight this virus.”
“Our people must stop going across to Bougainville and we must stop Bougainvilleans from coming to our side. This should continue under the COVID-19 situation has been brought under control,” DC Matanga told the various communities she met with during her visit
“COVID-19 has impacted on our normal norms and practices including interactions with your people on Bougainville. We must accept that we are not in normal times. That is the reason why I have to come down to talk with you so we can work together to fight this virus.”
At Taro Police Station during a parade the Deputy Commissioner explained, “Once COVID-19 has been transmitted into communities we have no way escaping it because of how we live. So am urging you my good people to please adhere to the health protocols and work together with our frontline police officers who are working hard to protect us all.”
“I strongly appeal to the few people who think they can sneak across the common border in their outboard motors to stop this immediately as you are not only putting your lives in danger but the lives of your family members and the rest of the people in your community and the nation of Solomon Islands.”
I feel sure the awareness talks conducted by the Deputy Commissioner and her support team were appreciated by the local community members and, from a personal perspective, I am pleased that the practice of community policing continues in the way in which I always intended the practice and procedures to be followed by the police service since originating the policing policy in 1997.
Well done the RSIPF team!