Dili, July 23, 2010 — July 23, 2010 –Today, Timor-Leste held its inaugural community policing conference in Dili. The conference, “Strengthening Security Through Community Policing,” was hosted by the Timor-Leste National Police Force (PNTL) with support from The Asia Foundation as part of the Community-Oriented Policing Program (CMCOP) funded by USAID.
The conference attracted 70 senior level police officers from across Timor-Leste. Police and community leaders participated in panel discussions and debates on the role of community policing in resolving local public safety and reducing crime levels. At the broadest level, community policing builds relationships between communities and police in an effort to monitor local public security issues and provide oversight on the performance of the police.
“In simple terms, community policing is a philosophy. This philosophy opens the way for community participation and police to work together,” Community Police Commander Joao Belo said. “The PNTL has shown a real commitment to establishing meaningful partnerships with the local community.”
The Asia Foundation Country Representative Silas Everett reiterated that community policing is a natural starting point for community and police to work together to make communities in Timor-Leste safer.
“Police are an important bridge between the formal and informal systems of justice in Timor-Leste,” said TAF Country Representative Silas Everett. “What we saw in today’s conference was the first consolidated attempt to capture examples, perspectives, and stories of the progress already made by both community and police in improving local security together.”
See more information about Community Policing in Timor-Leste.