Timor-Leste police builds public trust through effective communication
Trust is considered an important factor in establishing positive relationships between the police and the community. The police officers who are willing to take time to show kindness, understanding and consideration when interacting with the community will build trust and confidence in the police among the people. They would use communication skills for voluntary compliance wherever possible rather than resorting to physical coercion.
Therefore, providing communication strategies and tactics to Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL) strengthens the relationship with the community, and articulates the institutional missions, visions and goals. As an institution under rule of law, establishing a model of communication behavior is essential. Without developing the mechanisms to ensure compliance with existing communication method as a guideline, good practices are likely to fade.
UNDP Timor-Leste, through its project ‘Timor-Leste National Police–Strengthening Governance and Service Delivery’, organized a two-day training on Effectiveness Communication and Public Relation to the PNTL members in Manufahi and Covalima. This project extends its capacity development support to the police to be aware of the methods of using effective communication and avoiding force to solve problems in the community. These areas are considered essential to ensure long term improvements of the PNTL.
Superintendent Agustinho Gomes, the Commander of PNTL Manufahi said in the closing ceremony on 4 October 2016, “The first lines of communication with police officers are giving and receiving orders from the commander. The police officers must be able to communicate clearly what the emergency is, where it is and the level of threat.”
During the training, most of the topics focused on building trust by improving communication style, strategy and impact, and communicating the organization's new direction by building awareness, understanding, acceptance and commitment.
For the training in Covalima on 6 October 2016, the Commander of PNTL Covalima Superintendent Eugenio Fereira, in his opening remarks of the training said, “To maintain security and order in society, upholding the principles of order and law is a fundamental key to achieve police activities successfully.”
UNDP Timor-Leste’s PNTL project aims to strengthen the capacity of the National Police to deliver quality policing services to the people of Timor-Leste. With generous support from the Australian Federal Police and the governments of Japan and USA, the project focuses on supporting commanders to transform their strategic and annual plans into tangible, measurable and financed activities. The project team is co-located at the PNTL and works with counterparts on the following components: strategic planning; information technology and database management; public information, fleet management; and a pilot project at the Baucau municipality office of the PNTL.