I was delighted to have attended the Royal Grenada Police Force & Police Welfare Association 7th Annual Retirement and Award Ceremony, held December 19th, 2015 at the Grenada Trade Center.
I firmly hold the belief that any given opportunity to celebrate the industrious men and women of the RGPF is indeed a special one. The event was held under the theme, “Retirement…the end of one legacy; the beginning of another.”
Nice theme, quite fitting too. However, I am disheartened with the overall execution of the ceremony. This ceremony is in its 7th year of existence and as such, it is about time that the organisers and the panel responsible for nominating and deciding the winners, get their acts together and get things done in a right and just manner.
The first reason which stood as a premise for my disgruntlement is the newly adopted nominee aspect to the award ceremony. If something has to be copied, it should be either on par with the original or better. My knowledge of an event in which a number of persons are selected for a nomination is that the names are called in the respective categories and the winner is called to receive his or her award.
In this event however, all the nominees were called to stand in the front of the audience and then the winner was called while the ‘non- winners’ walked away as failures. That to me was appalling and should not have occurred. All the nominees should not have had to endure standing among their fellow officers as though they were competing for a prize after having participated in a competition.
Another reason why I cry shame on the organisers of this show is their unapologetic failure to honour and effectively recognise some of the most outstanding police officers in the RGPF. I have inside information that some officers attached to the Special Service Unit (SSU) recently completed a training course in St. Kitts. The training was spearheaded and organised by the Regional Security System. Participants of this said training course came from islands throughout the Caribbean; all the countries sent their best and so did the RGPF. It is my understanding and confirmed by my friends in the RGPF that Grenada captured the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th and 13th, spots in the overall training course.
Now, if there is anyone that can tell me that this is not a worthy achievement, deserving of special recognition then I do not know what is. Moreover, I will award the Public Relations arm of the RGPF two thumbs down for failure to inform the media houses and the general public of such tremendous accomplishment on the part of these diligent, physically fit and determined police officers.
Isn’t this a story of news salience? Shouldn’t this story headline our local news programming? Shouldn’t these officers be awarded for their hard work, outstanding effort and extraordinary initiative? I unequivocally again cry shame on the RGPF but more specifically shame on the superiors of the SSU unit who in my opinion have drastically failed the men and women they are supposed to guide, motivate and encourage.
I am aware that some police officers attached to the SSU unit constructed a few houses well enough for the less fortunate in communities throughout Grenada. They went a step above their call of duty. They wore hats of labourers and contractors to ensure that people had better homes, thus enhancing their lives and for such initiative and a step above duty, there was no mention of that at this ceremony. Who can justify such malice, ungratefulness and lack of thoughtfulness?
A particular Constable was sent to represent our country and the RGPF at three different training operations outside of Grenada and each time he topped the course including the one mentioned earlier in this article and even that was omitted from their list of most outstanding officers and officer of the year award category.