CJPS, Police Conduct Training for Community Watch Forum in 18 Communities in Bong and Nimba

CJPS’ staff and participants at the Gbarnga workshop posed for a photo

Bong and Nimba Counties – The Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CJPS) over the weekend collaborated with the police in Bong and Nimba counties to provide training for community watch forums from 18 communities in six districts in the two counties.

The workshop, according to Francis Senkpanie Konyon, Program Manager of CJPS, gave participants the opportunity to share views and practical experiences on identifying human rights, crime prevention, safety awareness, legal pathway process, civic responsibilities, mediation and conflict management among others.

The communities included Salala, Frelela, Totota, Gbartala, Suakoko, Sergeant Kollie Town and Gbarnga in Bong and Sokopa, Kpain, Bunadin, Ganta, Gbadin, Sehyikinpa and Farngalo Street in Nimba County.

The training focused on crime prevention, safety awareness, legal pathway process, human rights education, civic responsibilities, mediation, conflict management and do’s and don’t’s of Community Watch Forums. 

Two hundred and seventy persons participated in the week-long training.

At the close of the training, each of the 18 community watch forums were given one phone, touch lights, batteries and recharged cards to enhance communications between the watch forums and the police and to also help the police in preventing crimes at the community level.

Prior to the watch forum training, CJPS provided conflict management and mediation training for 72 local leaders from Bong and Nimba counties. The purpose of the training was to equip the local leaders with skills to intervene in minor cases and to also ensure that referral pathway is utilized in referring cases above their jurisdiction. 

These trainings are part of the Rule of Law for Everyone Security (ROLES) project which is being implemented by CJPS and sponsored by UNDP through funding from the governments of Sweden and Ireland and Peacebuilding Fund (PBF/LMPTF). 

The workshop was well appreciated by the participants based on the feedback gathered from them. Frederick Nappy, Bong County Police Commander said it was a good opportunity to learn about how to integrate human rights principles into sustainability strategies of citizens.

“I particularly enjoyed networking with others organizations and sharing ideas particularly CJPS based on their intervention in bridging the gap between the communities and police. The mixed participants gave me the opportunity to understand how human rights are viewed by different stakeholders and the efforts communities are making to help the police prevent crimes. I look forward to participating in more such events by CJPS.”