Approximately 30 police officers representing the ranks of Corporals, Sergeants and Inspectors will better able to execute their jobs as a result of training they are receiving.
The officers are engaged in a Supervisors’ Development Training made possible through MetroStar Systems, under the US State Department.
The training exercise officially started at the Special Services Unit (SSU) compound at Point Salines where the officers for the next two weeks will be reminded of their roles based on their ranks in the force and to be taught the best way to fulfill it.
An opening ceremony was held last week Monday where the participants were told the pros and cons of what is expected of them for the next couple of weeks.
Project Manager of MetroStar Systems, Christine Allgood explained their role in the training.
“We are working with US Department of State and the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau to bring you what we are calling the Caribbean Police Academy Regional Training initiative”, she said.
“…We are doing a lot of training with a lot of different OECS member countries including yourself as well as the Barbados Regional Security Systems,” she added.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Franklyn Redhead explained the reason for the approach the RGPF is taking with regards to enhancing the force’s abilities to serve the community.
“This project you see before you came out of the need to further strengthen and develop our training agenda recognizing the fact that resources are very finite and the opportunities for foreign travel and for training oversees is diminishing as we go along…”, he told participants.
Redhead went on to say: “…So we had to find some mechanism to deliver the same kind of training that is obtainable at the US and the UK and other places that will assist us with our own development agenda”.
According to Redhead there is need within the police force to change some of the old ways of doing business.
“We in the RGPF have some cultural issues that need to change but certainly as we move forward we have to ensure that our training supports our operation but it also supports the need to change and reflect what is relevant within the society in terms of how the RGPF can re-engineer itself to better suit the needs of the persons that we serve,” he said.
Inspector Dexter Richard, who also spoke at the ceremony emphasised the need for training of the officers since they need to take a different approach in respect to what they have learnt over the years and to set examples for their subordinates.
“I believe that every promotion is an investment because somewhere along the line in the hierarchy of the force, Commissioner and his team believe that you are capable of first of all being able to assist in the mission of the force, the vision of the force to drive the force in a direction that they want”, he remarked.
“…I want to say it’s an investment because I was privy to work in different stations and different divisions and one of the problems that I have found is that people would have come here and train, they would have been sent to various countries and train but you get out in the stations and wonder where are the supervisors,” he said
Insp. Richard alluded to the fact that there are many supervisors who are not fulfilling their roles the way they ought to which in the end reflects badly on the entire force.
“I remember in one particular station, when I went there it was (the) Diarist who was running the station, the NCO’s were upstairs during the day with their shorts and boxers lying on the bed and I could not believe my eyes and I begin to wonder why are you promoted, do you know why, what the force saw in you that allow them to promote you and now the Constable who you should be supervising is running the station,’ he explained.
Inspector Richard encouraged the officers to take the training seriously as he has already noticed some ill practices among some of the newly promoted officers.
“…We cannot teach you everything but the training you would receive over the next two weeks will allow you to be better able to understand what your role or roles are, it will also act like a catalyst to help you develop yourself and to understand oh I’m a Corporal now, why did they promote me,” he said.
“All the stations I go to, I hear the Constables always complain, well sir, we have no leaders, look at what this one is doing, look at what the other one is doing, the lower ones look at us, they look at you to point them into a direction,’ he added.
Newly appointed Assistant Commissioner of Police, Michael Francois declared the training officially open and wished the officers a successful two weeks of training.