Since September this year is Paula Klomp the new community officer on Saba. She will hold this position for a period of two years. The community officer is the single contact point on Saba between the citizen, entrepreneur and network partners. This means that the community officer forms part of different network meetings and together with network partners contributes to finding lasting solutions to long-term problems. “The community officer is the link between the police and all citizens. It is not someone who only talks but also someone who acts after having identified problems and who works together with chain partners to arrive at possible solutions and developments within a community”, says Chief of Police of the Caribbean Netherlands Police Corps (KPCN), Hildegard Buitink.
From September 2013 until September 2015 the position of community officer will be carried out by two persons. Paula Klomp will be relieved in March by Norma Kerpens. Starting from September 2014 they will rotate every three months. The objective of the community officers is to work with the community and the network partners to contribute to a viable and safer Saba.
Paula Klomp began her career in 2002 as a police officer of the Police Corps Utrecht in the Netherlands. In the first years she worked as a basic care police on the street. In the period 2009 – 2011 she worked as community officer. Two years ago she took on a new challenge when she decided to re-migrate to Bonaire and to work for the Caribbean Netherlands Police Corps (KPCN). “When I got the chance in September 2012 to work in the basic police care on Saba for 8 months I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. During my work on Saba I realized that there was a need for a community officer and that this position was not filled for some time”. Given her training and previous work experience as a community officer in the Netherlands, Paula Klomp would like through her work to mean something for Saba.
Asked how she and her colleague will take on this task Paula responded: “We will address this task trying to be approachable in an accessible way for the population. You will see us as community officers, on the street, in the schools but also during various activities. Inhabitants can come to us for things that require no emergency but which do need police attention. This may include disturbances mediation or problems in the relationship and/or domestic violence “. If it regards a problem in which the police cannot help the community officer will ensure that the person is brought into contact with the right network partner. For urgent matters, it is necessary that these notifications are done through phone number 416-3737. Notifications on this phone number will instantly dealt with. In addition to urgent business the 416- 3737 phone number is also used as a general number.
The community officer can be reached in the following ways; such as on the street, visits to the police station in Windwardside or by making an appointment. This can be done through the email address firstname.lastname@example.org or phone number 416-3737 and by then asking for the community officer.
Press release Politie CN, December 11, 2013
Honestly speaking this in my humble opinion can only work if certain strategic measures are taken. First of all if this was to work in a good manner they should not be sitting at the Police Station. Not many people want to be seen going to no police station to discuss anything. Also bearing in mind that not many people here on Saba has confidence in the Police Department. Both ladies in my opinion got their work cut out for them to once again bring about trust. Another issue that in my opinion will play a role is having to deal wtih the two ladies dressed down in police clothing. My personal opinion is that the ladies should be dressed down in plain civilian clothes. Community Police can work but it will take a long time to gain that trust. People got to have that feeling that when they go to these community police officers that they will be able to get some sort of assistance and be listened to. In my opinion the Community Police should have an office space away from the Police Station and if I can make a suggestion there office should be located in the same building with the Court of Guardianship situated down in the Gap. I am convinced that if such moves are made the Community Police can be a great asset to the entire community. And to make it a success they cannot be sitting behind of a desk they got to be out there within the community. My two cents if this has to be a success.