Community Policing begins in Delmas Neighborhood

The Haitian National Police (HNP) was established in 1995, and since then has developed a reputation for brutality and class bias. Delmas, a Port-au-Prince neighborhood, is an example of police brutality residents complain about. One of the places where tent cities still house 2010 earthquake survivors, local police earlier this year clubbed two men, causing the death of one, in an encampment.


In response to the growing problem of police mistrust by Haitians, the U.S. State Department has initiated a community policing program. The goal is to engender trust between the community and police. The reason is to raise the apprehension rate and decrease crime.

The PNH comprises 10,000 officers expected to adequately serve a population of 10 million inhabitants. Plans are to increase the HNP by another 5,000 officers by 2016.

Foot patrols have begun in Delmas, in addition to school classroom visits to inform youth of police officers' responsibilities and duties to the community. The youths posed questions to the officers about why they gassed protestors, and how rich Haitians seem to benefit from the HNP's protection, but not poorer ones.

The community policing program has trained 40 Delmas police officers on ethics, human rights, and communications. They are being advised by New York Police Department Haitian-American officers as they foot patrol in Delmas.

Director Stuart Smith of the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs said his agency has funded policing programs in Haiti for five years, upwards of $15 million yearly.

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Read more: Delmas, Haiti National Police, Hatian National Police, PNH, Community Policing, Security Crime Law and Order

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