English Class for Chame and San Carlos Police
Article by Judy Whaling On September 18, 2015, Major Leslie Howard of the National Police, approved a plan to provide English language instruction to the police officers who serve from the police division based in Chame and San Carlos.
Major Howard arranged a community information meeting for ex-pats last month at La Teca restaurant in Coronado. He is very committed to a model of “community based” policing and values the cooperation and support of the communities that he and his officers serve.
A native Panamanian from Puerto Armuelles, Major Howard has been serving in the National Police for many years. He resides in a nearby community with his wife and three children ages 10, 5, and 3.
English classes will be provided by experienced (10years) and TESLO certified ESL teacher, Sherry Ruth. Ms. Ruth resides in Coronado and has taught ESL in Brazil, Honduras, Taiwan, Qatar, Canada and Panama. She will be offering instruction via the ESP (English for Specific Purpose) method. This method focuses on language skills necessary for a particular setting or job. It does not require mastery of grammar and is directed to specific needs. The focus is oral communication.
The site and logistics for training is being made possible by Finca La Maya directed by Starr McCamant. Finca La Maya in San Carlos has been providing programs to the local community since 2007. Free English classes, Art for Kids, Computer Lab and a bilingual Library are just a few of the resources that have been made available. These programs are made possible by donations and volunteers; both are always needed.
The National Police force includes Transit Police, The Aeronaval Service, and The Frontier Service. The National Police are dedicated to the safety and security of individuals and businesses. About a dozen officers have made the commitment to attend the English classes which will be held twice a week for 12 weeks. Classes begin on 30 September.
Major Howard, Sherry Ruth and Starr McCamant have joined forces to design an English language program which will not only improve the ability of the police to serve English speaking residents; it will allow English speakers to begin to know and to support their local police.