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The spirit of caring

Darwin Dottin, Commissioner of Police

The spirit of caring

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The following is a Christmas message from Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin.At this time of year, several persons pause to give thanks for our many blessings, for family friends and loved ones.
It is at this time also that many are imbued, infected by the spirit of caring and seek to make service to others a central element of their lives. Similarly, others try to bring hope to those who have nothing, who have been forgotten or are in despair. These are some of the emotions that spring to life as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ through the joyous occasion known as Christmas.  
Our reality in Barbados is that as we prepare to celebrate yet another Christmas, we do so with the sobering effects of challenges and experiences that combined to test our resolve during the past year. Indeed, as we cast our minds back to some of the events that commanded our attention, we recall the impact of disasters, both natural and man-made.  
We also recall the period of mourning, occasioned by the untimely death of our late Prime Minister. It is to our credit and collective will that we have been able to rise above these challenges and continue to forge ahead with personal and national development.
Barbados continues to enjoy the enviable reputation of being a safe place to work, play and live. Unfortunately, during the year a minority of misdirected persons sought to negatively affect that cherished reputation through criminal misdeeds such as theft, robbery and burglary. The force responded to these and similar challenges through a mix of crime prevention, investigation and community engagement initiatives.  
Though successful in arresting the situation and bringing it under control, we are determined to work harder towards a further reduction of the fear of crime. It is with this in mind that a commitment has been made to the retention of certain strategies that have proven successful during the delivery of our Yuletide policing operations.   
This year, and in past years, several lives have been lost on our roads as a result of recklessness, driving at excessive speed or other indiscriminate acts by drivers and other road users. To us in the police force, each accident that claims the life of an individual is not an opportunity to record a cold statistic, but the beginning of a period of pain and anguish for a family, loved ones and friends. We therefore urge that as you travel our roads during the Christmas season, you do so with a profound sense of responsibility and care.  
To ensure that a sense of order prevails, our patrols will be strategically deployed along our highways and in those public spaces where people are expected congregate or otherwise conduct their legitimate business.      
This year, in addition to marking this festive occasion, the Royal Barbados Police Force is proudly celebrating 175 years of service to the people of Barbados. As we reflect on this milestone, we are mindful that the journey has been filled with challenges, some outstanding achievements and, as can be expected, some disappointments.  However, we continue to be buoyed by the collective support of those Barbadians who have a common commitment to the preservation of order and the further development of our nation through community well-being, peace and goodwill.   
Over the years, our force has contributed to the development of our nation through a range of initiatives that include community engagement, cooperation and collaboration. For the coming year, it is our intention to build on past successes through these arrangements as we continue to value their contribution to the maintenance of a secure and enabling environment.  
Additionally, we recognise that though enforcement is one of the strands available to effective policing, it can no longer be considered as the primary response to those issues that seek to retard community development.  For the way forward, there will be greater emphasis on partnership-building to involve the police, communities and agencies that have a critical role to play in the further promotion of community cohesion.
On behalf of myself and the members of the Royal Barbados Police Force, I take this opportunity to thank the public of Barbados for its continued support. We look forward to your ideas, encouragement and contribution in the coming year.   My wish is that as we prepare to close the pages on this year, we also resolve to face the challenges of this time with the resilience for which Barbadians are known.
In our celebrations, may we ask God’s continued blessing on our nation. May we not lose hope, nor abandon our faith in the Almighty, who sent His son over 2 000 years ago at this particular time to show us the way forward.  
May we find inspiration in the words of Calvin Coolidge who wrote: “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”  
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.