First Lincolnshire Police Officer elected to National Black Police Association
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It is with delight that we can announce that a Lincolnshire Police Officer has been elected as Vice President of the National Black Police Association (NBPA).
In a first for the force, Inspector Jesee Karanga was voted in by colleagues from all police forces at the organisation’s national conference in Cardiff earlier this month.
Jesee, who is based in Lincoln, is also Chairman of Lincolnshire Police’s SMILE network (Supporting Minorities in Lincolnshire through Engagement) and is passionate about spreading awareness of the experiences of all colleagues who come from a minority background, as well as helping all peers develop to their best of their abilities.
“It took 10 years to get to this point,” Jesee said, “and I couldn’t be happier to be here. Being part of the NBPA at this level means I’ll have the chance to feed into and influence conversations in national spaces such as government discussions, as well as making sure locally, here in Lincolnshire, we understand and talk openly about the experiences of Black colleagues and people in our communities to make sure we are actively listening and understanding. That will help us be the best police force we can be.
“One of the best things about this is the allies we’ll be able to ask for help from because you can’t do any of this alone. We need to think of barriers such as culture and language, which can stop communities engaging with us and can stop our own people from feeling represented and heard, and even applying to join us in the first place. The more people we have who are passionate about supporting ethnic minorities, the more chance we have of making policing a positive experience for everyone.”
Jesee, who is originally from Mukurwe-ini, in Nyeri, in Kenya, joined Lincolnshire Police 14 years ago and has been in a variety of roles since starting. He said that he is often greeted with surprise when he tells Black friends or members of the public that he is a police officer.
“A lot of people have been really shocked because they just don’t think policing is a career that is available for them, and therefore not for me,” he said, “but when I start to explain about my experience, they get it much more. On the flip side, at various points during my career I’ve experienced horrendous racism. One person, who was a victim I went to talk to about what had happened to them, wouldn’t even let me in their house because of the colour of my skin, and the ignorance and misunderstanding that comes along with that is something I hope we can change through conversation and information.
“For me this is about tomorrow. What can we change today, right now, that will make the future brighter? I’m thrilled to have been elected as VP for the NBPA and can’t wait to get started.”
Chief Constable Chris Haward, who is also the national Race and Inclusion lead for policing, added: “Jesee’s passion for supporting ethnic minorities is not only evident to anyone who has the pleasure of meeting him but is utterly infectious. It’s as if the SMILE network was created for him because he literally does just that and smiles all day long - there are not many other people who approach not only a busy and demanding day job and some of the challenges that come with representing people who have traditionally been marginalised with such positivity and enthusiasm. “We’re lucky to have him and offer him huge congratulations for his election as NBPA Vice President and look forward to supporting him in all his endeavours.”
Andy George, President of the NBPA, said: “The National Black Police Association celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and during that time we have been the voice of ethnic minority officers and staff across UK policing. Our vision is to create a police service that represents, engages and delivers its services to all communities in a fair and equitable manner and I am confident that Jesee’s recent appointment as Vice President will help us to make this vision a reality.
“The next two years will be pivotal in driving the work of the NBPA forward. I am delighted that Jesee will be supporting me as President and his values, ethos, and work ethic will help develop an association that supports members and helps policing to become anti-racist.”
Visit the National Black Police Association here for more information.