Police bicycle brigade in Haiti
By Yves Paul Leandre
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) -- The Haitian National Police (HNP) has established a new police brigade called the Biking Police Brigade in police precincts and sub-stations in the metropolitan area of the Caribbean country's capital of Port- au-Prince to help secure the population.
The members of the first brigade of police officers on bicycle were deployed in the streets of Croix-des-Bouquets, in the West department. There are several dozen biking policemen who came to strengthen the community police already in place.
The new brigade was introduced by the director-general of the police and operating cycling techniques are now part of the special courses offered to police recruits at the National Police Academy in Haiti , as well as courses related to the traffic police introduced in the curriculum of the academy.
"This is a brigade that makes prevention work. These policemen roam the streets, will remain in some fixed areas so that they may be in contact with the population in order to provide results in terms of their safety," a spokesman for the police, Commissioner Frantz Lerebours, told HCNN on Monday.
Police and police recruits are trained by French and Canadian instructors and their training is based on 10% theory and 90% practice, according to police authorities.
"The training focuses on the technical course and a two-wheeled patrol which is an outreach work," Lerebours said.
According to a Canadian instructor, Sam Coté, the aim of this new structure is to make the police operational in areas where access is more difficult for motorized patrols.
"This brigade should increase the confidence of the population that needs a permanent presence of law enforcement officers in the communities," said Coté.
Under the Development Plan 2012-2016 of the Haitian police, Haiti should have 15,000 police by 2016, which will receive training in the police academy with the support of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The current staff of the national police amounted to a little more than 11,000 police officers.
During the year 2013, the government has made acquisition of new equipment and materials for the police such as vehicles, pistols, new rifles to enable them to better protect the population.
A recent study by an agency of the United Nations on Haiti has reported a 34% drop in the rate of violent crime and a 55% decline observed in the rate of kidnapping in the country.