Police go back to school . . . undergo customer relations training

Ropafadzo Ndangariro Herald Reporter
A total of 480 police officers drawn from Harare suburban district stations are undergoing customer service training to improve relations between police and communities. The programme is being facilitated by Miracle Mission Trust, a non-governmental organisation, supported by Dendairy, Northside Community Church, RUA, Printworks and Selby Enterprises.

Speaking at the official opening of the training workshop in Harare on Monday, Officer Commanding ZRP Harare suburban district Chief Superintendent Takaiteyi Chitekwe said to achieve their goal of a crime-free community, police had to embrace community policing and partnerships.

“Ladies and gentlemen, like any other aspect of our day-to-day life, policing is evolving,” he said. “Gone are the days when fear and harassment were the order of the day.

“If we are to attain our broader objective of a crime-free society, we as the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) must embrace community policing and partnerships, like we are witnessing here today.”

Chief Supt Chitekwe said the training programme was aimed at improving the interaction between police and the community, including the need to accommodate concerns from members of the public.

“Of late, we have been inundated with complaints against police officers to practice good customer care practices,” he said. “Ordinarily, it is my hope that after this course, we are going to enjoy the fruits of this noble initiative. Customer care is your duty and not a favour to the community.”

An official from Miracle Missions Trust, Ms Linda Selby, said the programme was a way of rebuilding trust and connecting the police force and the community.

“We all know that the trust in the ZRP has been broken, but it is a new era, the police want to be the leading service provider by 2020, maintaining law and order to protect and serve the community on all levels and that is why we are bridging the gap through this programme,” she said.

“The officers know what is right to do, what are the correct actions, how to treat the public, so we are teaching them to be committed to serving the public wholeheartedly and for the public to rebuild their faith in the ZRP. Right now, the trust is gone.”

Police officers that are attending the programme have been drawn from Avondale, Borrowdale, Highlands, Mabelreign, Mabvuku, Marlborough, Rhodesville and Ruwa.

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