Portlanders have no love for criminals
Head of the Portland Police Division, Superintendent Kenneth Chin, says that while he is always cautious of criminal elements escaping to the parish to hide out, he is confident that the active communication system in the space will weed out snakes in the grass.
"We have a very active community communication system with our stakeholders. So we constantly remind them to watch out for strange people, watch out for suspicious activities. We keep reminding our citizens, whenever there's a ZOSO (zone of special operations), whenever there's a SOE (state of emergency), whenever there's a triple murder, a double murder, whatever is happening, people may tend to migrate to the quieter places like Portland," he said.
"We have had quite a few of such persons picked up in Portland as well. Persons who were wanted elsewhere, that we got information from our citizens and we were able to bring them in. Our citizens are definitely working with us. Any strange person, any strange activities, they are really keeping their community safe." Chin is especially grateful for the assistance as he admitted that the division is low in numbers of personnel.
"We have serious staff shortage, but the members are very committed to being out there putting on operations. Even when we are stretched, we still have our members giving more than 100 per cent," he said. "The citizens are doing a lot of the heavy lifting and we are there in partnership with them."
Portland is yet to report a murder in 2022. Last year, Portland recorded 15 murders, five more than 2020. Aside from the residents, Chin also cited the layout of the parish for assisting the police.
"We have activated our road policing activities, we have a lot of operations, a lot of stop and search and the geographic layout of the parish is as such that there is one main road that runs through the parish. You have some other off-roads that can take you out of the parish but for the most part, when we control the main thoroughfare, then criminals have it more difficult to enter and leave the parish," he told THE STAR.