PRAYER ALERT: The day before her meeting with villagers, I spoke with the new Caye Caulker Police Inspector, Dehanne Augustine, in her office. Inspector Augustine shared that she was a Christian who felt called by God to work for good police relations in communities. After her success with such a program in San Ignacio, where she had great community cooperation, she felt confined by a desk job on the force. She prayed for a new job, and last week it suddenly came. She embraced this opportunity for promoting police relations on the troubled island of Caye Caulker. “I felt like I could spread my wings again.” She was very open to input and so I offered some.
I suggested we have a police officer for each of three zones on Caye Caulker, a friendly face who could meet and get to know as many residents as possible. He or she could recruit youth cadets and citizen patrols. Together they could promote good police relations by overseeing monthly sporting events and publicizing updates on their work in the community. This kind of accountability would develop the trust required for residents to report the inside information that police need. Ms. Augustine welcomed my input, saying it was a confirmation as she had been thinking along the same lines.
At Thursday night’s meeting with the villagers, more strategies for good police relations were announced.
- New rules for treatment of suspects in custody.
- Installation of video cameras in the police station.
- Tourist officers who patrol the island around the clock.
- Tourist access to video link for quicker reporting and court action.
- A special officer assigned to cases of domestic abuse and sex abuse.
- Repainting the station and eventually renovating the police barracks.
But the police officials repeatedly emphasized that these strategies will work only if the villagers work with them.
PRAY WITH US: Father God, everything that is good comes from You. We have confidence that You are always good no matter how evil the world. The world, the flesh and the devil have had their way too long on Caye Caulker. The devil has come to steal Hilbert from us, to kill him, and to destroy what peace the community had. But Jesus came that we may have life abundantly. Where sin has abounded, Your grace can much more abound. We ask for a grace period for Caye Caulker. We ask for time to mourn and be comforted. We ask for time for good police relations with the community to grow.
We thank You that You have begun a good work to do that here. We thank You that You are be faithful to complete this good work. You have plans to prosper us and not to harm us. You have plans to give us a hope and a future. Unfold Your plans day by day. Bring us into active agreement with them. Our plans without You have failed. But with You all things are possible. Thank You that our new police inspector is a willing vessel for You. Release all kinds of help to her. Appoint angelic and human watchmen over every hour and location on the island. Let Your Holy Spirit be upon us. Anoint us to bring good news to the afflicted. To bind up the brokenhearted. To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Make Your face to shine upon us, and be gracious. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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