DEAR EDITOR, last month I had the pleasure with catching up with an old friend and one who rendered considerable help to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force during the early years following my appointment as the Commissioner of Police in the Solomon Islands from 1997.
Mr Khoo Boon Hui was the Commissioner of Police in Singapore from 1997 to 2010 and in more recent times till 2016 was the President of INTERPOL.
I took the opportunity at lunch to thank Mr Khoo for having made it possible for several senior officers of the RSIPF to go to Singapore in the period 1997-1998 to undergo training in Community Policing and to tell him how that training experience was put to good practice in the initiation of community policing policy and practice in the period leading up to the onset of civil disturbance in the Solomon Islands, a time when, very unfortunately, the community policing concept and operations were radically disrupted.
Mr Khoo also helped the RSIPF in those early years by giving surplus police uniforms when, on my arrival, I had found the members of the local police service had no change of uniform and there was no funds available to acquire uniforms and other accoutrements.
My Khoo retains a strong interest in the Solomon Islands and several times asked how community policing was now progressing. I was happy to tell him that community policing was continuing and progress was being achieved.