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Tourism Oriented Policing: An Examination of a Florida/Caribbean Partnership for Police Training

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science & Management Volume: 10 Issue: 4 Dated: Winter 2008 Pages: 402-416
Ross Wolf
Date Published
15 pages
This article describes the components, content, and evaluation of a training curriculum for the Royal Saint Lucian Police Force (RSLPF) that focused on a tourism-oriented policing model for the West Indies island of Saint Lucia.
In late 2002, members of the RSLPF, the marine patrol, beach patrol, rapid response unit, customs officers, immigration officers, and private hotel security began training in tourist-oriented policing (TOP). The training was provided by instructors from Orlando, FL, through the University of Central Florida. The training focused on the definition and implementation of "tourism policing," a philosophy that emphasizes fear reduction among tourists through proactive and friendly law enforcement mixed with crime prevention. Although several courses were taught on specific policing venues, each course was grounded in the theories associated with TOP, including community-oriented policing, problem-oriented policing, situation policing, and crime prevention through environmental design. Additional areas of instruction common to all courses were the importance of strong communication skills for TOP officers and the significance of building ethical and professional working relationships with senior tourism professionals, including but not limited to hotel general managers. A common course objective was for police to conduct thorough investigations of offenses committed by tourists as well as those committed against tourists. After the three training courses were concluded, the instructors and course participants were surveyed in order to identify what could be done better and whether or not the course was effective in communicating its message. The students overwhelmingly felt that the classes successfully delivered information important to the TOP mission of police; however, course participants almost universally cited the lack of participation of mid-level supervisors in the training. They felt that absent supervisors' knowledge and commitment to TOP emphasized in the training, related policies would not be developed and implemented. 1 table, 44 references, and appended outline of tourism policing training classes