Fundasaun Mahein (FM), 30 October 2014
The 2015 State General Budget for the Community Police Needs Political Support from the National Parliament
At the end of 2013, Fundasaun Mahein published a report entitled “The Basis of the Community Police Practice,” which discussed the services of community police and the Official Village Police (POV).
However, these initiatives, which involve community police services in 13 districts, have not yet received maximum attention from the government. The allocation of funding is still lacking, so the activitie of the community police in districts and villages still face various limitations in facilities, equipment, and training resources for member.
The government has submitted its proposed State General Budget to the National Parliament on October 2014, and this proposed budget will be discussed by each relevant commission of the National Parliament. Fundasaun Mahein views this proposal (2015 SGB) as evidence that the government is attentive to the funding needs of the community police. Moving forward, FM trusts that the national parliament will consider the difficulties and successes that community police have faced in the field thus far.
In mid-2014, the General Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) and the supporting organizational donors for the community police held a workshop in Dili. This workshop discussed the various services of the community police. During the workshop, the donors presented a preliminary report, supported by an evaluation team that visited community police in villages, which explained that these posts are still facing shortages in the basic materials, such as facilities, equipment, and training resources, necessary to perform community police duties.
Through regional visits and discussions with community leaders, FM’s monitoring efforts have identified that these police face many problems, such as facilities, equipment, and lack of acknowledgment. Despite these shortages, whoever, the community police have achieved some successes.
As suggest above, FM believes that, in order to reach the strategic aims of the PNTL Strategy Plan for 2014-2018, the community police initiatives need support from the government and the national parliament. In particular, these initiatives need support for the action plan outlined in the proposed 2015 SGB, which would take effect in early 2015.
According to the PNTL Annual Plan, written in the proposed 2015 SGB, the community police will develop technical capacity and professionalism, as members of the PNTL, through internal training. Community policing activities will continue to provide training to POVs in villages, training for technical communication with POVs in villages, and training for volunteer security youth of villages in 13 districts. As such, these police members will play a profound role in social interactions and social psychology within these communities.
FM believes that these activities embody the philosophy of the PNTL, as well as the PNTL strategy Plan for 2014-2018, by adopting the ‘VIP Doctrine,’ which asks PNTL members to be ‘Visible, Involved, and Professional.’
FM believes that the National Parliament is well acquainted with the problems and successes of the community police initiatives thus far. Furthermore, FM believes that the National Parliament shares its concern for the visibility and policy adherence of community police in the field.
1. The national parliament committee B should support policy and the allocation of funding for community police services in the upcoming budget discussion.
2. The national parliament must supervise the implementation of funds by the community police, if these funds are granted.
For more details on this issue, please see the following:
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Executive Director of FM
Phone (+670) 7831 6075 or (+670) 7756 1184