Friday , March 1 2024

KPCN introduces new team to community

The Daily Herald writes that Dutch Caribbean Police Force (KPCN) held a special town hall meeting June 30 at the Child Focus Building in Windward Side to formally introduce the community liaison team comprising Community Officer Norma Karpens and Victims’ Assistance Office Workers Michel Jansen and Suchita Peeters. Island Governor Jonathan Johnson opened with formal introductions of the team whose focus is to help local citizens affected by crime find any personal or legal assistance needed.
Karpens, a mother and native of Aruba, has 15 years’ experience as a police officer in the Dutch Caribbean. She has been stationed on the island for the past six months and has served three other tours of duty on the island. “When the opportunity came to become a community officer on Saba, I did not think twice,” said Karpens. “For me, it’s all about serving the community as best I can.” As Community Officer, she is meant to bring citizens and police closer together by listening to them and understanding their needs as accurately as possible. “We want to give community members the right advice to steer them to the right people who can help guide them in the right direction,” she said. Residents can call 416 3727 or go to the local station to make confidential appointments to speak with the Community Officer. After an initial interview to assess needs and concerns, residents can be referred within the department, or to the Victims Assistance Office for potential legal or personal counselling.
Jansen, who also works as a job coach for the Saba Reach Foundation, is an experienced counsellor and former victim. Peeters has a background in psychotherapy. They can be reached directly with Victims Assistance at 416 6856. Jansen said she joined because she too has been a victim. “That’s why I joined and that’s why I am here. It’s a good way to help community members out who have been victimised. Of course, we are dependent on the police because they have to make the first step by referring them to us.”
The town hall meeting also featured an update on police matters by the island’s Senior Officer Wingrove Baker, who discussed staffing concerns for local police, office hours, routing of emergency calls, reopening of the police station in the Bottom and security for the upcoming carnival. Issues raised during a question-and-answer session moderated by National Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN Information Officer Alida Francis included under-age drinking during carnival, typical referrals made by community officers and cooperation between the KPCN and the Saba Cultural Foundation in preparation for this year’s carnival.


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