TTPS, Chinese Association partner to train 25 police officers in Mandarin

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TTPS, Chinese Association partner to train 25 police officers in Mandarin

Twenty-five police officers are expected to bridge the gap and strengthen the relationship between the local Chinese community and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), in a year-long cultural and language exchange programme.

The initiative, which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean, was launched last Friday at Fui Toong On Association, Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain.

It will include in-person sessions facilitated and resourced by the Chinese Association. It will cover speaking and cultural aspects and will engage frontline and specialised police officers throughout several units of the TTPS.

The programme was initiated following meetings between the Commissioner of Police, Erla Harewood-Christopher, the Provost of the Academy, Dr Simon Alexis and a representative from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Attaché, Liu Wei, in May and July 2023.

His Excellency Fang Qiu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China, lauded the TTPS’ Leadership for its vision and commitment to strengthening the already established “friendship” of both nations.

Ambassador Qiu said, “The fact that our Language Class is the first of its kind in the Caribbean, is a great symbol of the inclusiveness, diversity of the society and the culture of Trinidad and Tobago and a testament to our strong friendship.”

The Ambassador underscored, “The friendship has a long history, dating back 200 years ago when the first batch of Chinese arrived on the island and half a century ago when both countries established diplomatic relations.”

He said this would go a long way in helping the Chinese feel valued and safe knowing that they would be better understood by law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Harewood-Christopher, said the TTPS is transforming the way in which it interacts and works with all stakeholders to improve quality of life.

CoP Harewood-Christopher said, “Far too long, particularly in the law enforcement environment, there are many among us that feel that they do not have a safe place to express themselves, interact, and more importantly, share actionable information, with those entrusted to protect and serve them.”

She added, “It is therefore incumbent on any leader, any organisation, any right-thinking person to ensure that everyone can have an avenue to be heard and helped.

She told the participants, “You are the pioneers that strengthen relations between the TTPS and the members of the Chinese living and business community in Trinidad. You are the forerunners and ambassadors to foster trust and a better relationship between the members of the Chinese community and the TTPS. You are the embodiment of what we call operational excellence, developing effective leaders and improving staff capacity and competencies. You are the ones learning, sharing and growing together while enhancing stakeholder experience.”

According to the top cop, “We should expect fewer barriers, fewer obstacles and fewer delays with requests for service, crime reports and police investigations.”

She said the TTPS will make great use of the training “moving into our era of transformation within the TTPS and look forward to building on this firm foundation.”

The TTPS also currently has a customer service training course being rolled out in every division and section of the organisation to improve stakeholder experience.