Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told officers of the police force on Monday 10th September, 2018 that there is a need for more effective community policing.
He advised them not to stay in the stations but to go out in the communities to ‘meet and greet’ the residents; and by so doing, the public trust in the police will be improved thereby allowing for more productive “police/public partnership.
This according to the Prime Minister will augur well for crime fighting in the country. He urged the officers to be advocators of the organization’s agenda, not contrary towards it.
Prime Minister Gonsalves admonished police officers to take time out to prepare their case files in a more professional and timely manner.
He went on to say that an incomplete or under-investigated casefile gives the defense the upper hand during a trial and as a result, the perpetrator of the crime(s) can walk free all because the case file was not properly investigated.
Dr. Gonslaves outlined some of the reforms that are currently taking place in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force with regards to recruitment and training of new police officers entering the organization.
According the Prime Minister, the current policy that is followed is that once a recruit is enlisted into the force, he immediately takes the oath of office and becomes a police officer before he/she commences the initial training at the Police Training School.
This according to him has posed some problems overtime to the leadership of the Police Force because some recruits after they were enlisted failed to display the kind of attitude that is required to be a Police Officer.
The Prime Minister used the opportunity to inform the audience that based on recommendations from the Commissioner of Police and his high command, the recruitment policy will be change whereby all new recruits will take the oath of office only after he/she has successfully completed training at the police training school and also exudes the required attitude and aptitude to hold the office of a police officer.
The Prime Minister also announced that in the new policy, the probationary period for a recruit will increase from 18 months to 2 years.
According the to the Prime Minister, a recruit might have most of the qualities sought after by the police but lack the mental discipline that drives a police officer.
This draft policy according to the Prime Minister has been taken to parliament already for debate.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Colin John in making brief remarks at the meeting welcomed the Hon. Prime Minister and urged his officers to be attentive and open in their discussions with the Hon. Prime Minister.