In Haiti, anti-goverment protests have rocked the island nation over the past two months as thousands of people have taken to the streets over a wide range of issues, including delayed elections and high fuel prices. Often, Haitian police have fired tear gas to suppress the crowds, which gives the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office a direct link to the unrest in Haiti, because it donated some of the gas masks police wear when firing tear gas on protesters.
|Tear gas is fired on protesters in 2011. PBSO has donarted gas masks since 2010.|
PBSO has been donating police supplies to the Haitian police force since 2010, when the Caribbean nation was devastated by a massive earthquake that killed more than 230,000 people. With the country ravaged by poverty and insecurity, free equipment and training was welcomed by locals. Since the first trip, PBSO deputies have returned three times, including this past November, to donate more equipment. In addition to gas masks, donations include riot shields, bulletproof vests, and even two police cars. PBSO has also conducted "leadership seminars" in which they apparently teach leadership skills.
Earlier this week, Haitian police force leaders visited PBSO headquarters to honor the sheriff's department for its continued assistance in providing equipment and training to the country's police forces.More »