The exercise has been designed as a three day workshop being hosted at the Police Training Complex, at Ponds Pasture, Basseterre, and organized collaboratively between the US Embassy responsible for Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean and the St. Kitts and Nevis Police Force.
The round table discussion on police media relations is seeking to strike a balance between the security objectives of the police and the work of the media to inform the public on critical matters.
Participants are also trying to share their concerns but with a view to finding workable solutions that would provide the best results, not only for the police and media, but the safety and security of the public.
At Monday’s meeting it was recognized that in today’s modern realities of the mainstream and social media, there is greater pressure to get information out to the public, than it was perhaps two decades ago.
However in pursuing such objectives delegates at the meeting also accepted that there is greater need for clearer understanding of the role of both the media and police, and how greater collaboration can best satisfy the needs of all parties, who have some interest in public safety.
It was also embraced by participants that there is urgent necessity for a partnership between the two entities
Main facilitators at the meeting from the US Embassy were consultant Stephen Davis, and Rebecca Ross, the Public Affairs Officer at the Bridgetown based embassy.
High ranking police officials, including those with responsibility for the Criminal Investigation Department, Traffic, and Divisional Heads, as well as the Assistant Commissioner of Police, were present to dialogue with senior media officials, including those from WINN FM, MiyVue.com, ZIZ and SKNVibes.com.
It is the expectation that when the workshop concludes on Wednesday both sides would have established new protocols that would greatly enhance the working relation between them.