New Recruits cautioned of changing policing landscape
The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has added 58 new recruits to its ranks.
The new entrants emerged last week Thursday following their graduation from an extensive 24-week training exercise at the Point Salines-base Royal Grenada Police Force Training School.
In what has been dubbed the largest batch of recruits to ever graduate from the R.G.P.F. Training School, 25 men and 33 women braved the challenges to complete Recruit Course 43, the process that transform them from regular citizens to law enforcement officers with a status of a Police Constable.
The Passing out Parade and Graduation Ceremony marking the culmination of initial training for Course 43 and the beginning of their new careers as police officers was held at the compound of the SSU Camp at Camp Salines.
Over the past few weeks, the recruits became acquainted with several policing tactics and skills including: the powers and modes of arrest, traffic and road safety, criminal investigation and tactical operations skills among others.
According the Commandant, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Holly George, the participants of Recruit Course 43 experienced many firsts in the history of the training school.
“They are the first batch of recruits to have had as much as 33 females being trained. They are also the first batch to commence training with a total of 60 students, the largest batch ever. This course is also the first to participate in the national independence military parade with a drill display,” he told the large gathering of individuals, who turned out to witness the momentous occasion.
Addressing the new recruits at his first graduation ceremony, since assuming the post of Acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) Edvin Martin warned his new charges to recognise the changing landscape of policing and the importance of adapting to deal with the complex criminal activities due to advancement in technology.
Although crime in Grenada has contracted by 6% in 2018, the Acting Police Commissioner, said technology has changed the characteristics of crime but legislation struggles to keep abreast with those changes.
“We now live in an era where legislation constantly lags behind technology in an ongoing cat-and-mouse relationship. In this environment, through technology, criminals are constantly finding new and innovative ways to facilitate the commission of crimes by means that are not yet criminalised, this reality is manifested in the asymmetrical threat of cyber crime and cyber security related issues. In addition, the technology is playing a major role in the creation of synthetic substances,” said Acting CoP Martin.
The new recruits are a welcome addition to the RGPF, which for years has been severely, understaffed in excess of 100 officers.
The island’s chief cop reminded the newly enlisted Constables of the need to maintain the integrity of RGPF and warned them that corruption within the Police Force will be dealt within the strict arm of the law.
“In your duties you are going to be challenged, you are going to be tempted and you are going to find yourself in difficult situations. However, I implore upon you to always remember your duty to your community, with your family and to the force, never ever compromise your integrity, if you lose it, it will be very difficult if not impossible to restore…”, he said.
“…The force and its administration will frown upon breaches of professional integrity, quick and decisive action will be taken in cases of malpractice, corruption and abuse of authority”, he added.
Female High Court Judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford, who delivered the feature address pointed to the high number of cases of sexual crimes before the court and called upon the new recruits to be the gatekeepers in ensuring that victims of sexual crimes are treated with a level of respect and high sensitivity.
“I urge you to be diligent and deal with these cases expeditiously and seamlessly to maintain the dignity of these individuals. By way of a footnote, let me say that the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has begun implementation of a sexual offences court. The pilot project was launched in Antigua and Barbuda and it is expected that a similar court will be established in Grenada in the not too distant future,” the female High Court Judge said.