Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 23, 2017 (SKNIS): From skills training to promotions and the recruitment of quality officers, the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force has been moving in a positive direction in boosting officer moral and ensuring top police service to citizens.

The police service over the last year has benefitted from a continued commitment by the Ministry of National Security, says Commissioner of Police, Ian Queeley, at his press conference on February 23 at the Police Training Complex.

He said that to meet training and material objectives to enhance the force’s capacity building, training classes were conducted for officers and these training opportunities, locally, regionally and internationally, have now ensured greater depth within the various departments with regards to specific skills sets.

The commissioner said that skillset trainings conducted by Bramshill Police Advisors, a UK based consultant company, over the last year, have included courses such as case file preparation, crime scene management, evidence gathering, witness interviewing and surveillance techniques. Leadership and management training was also provided at various levels within the police force.

The Coalition for Security Initiatives in St. Kitts and Nevis has continued to make significant contributions to the police force, said the commissioner. He added that promotions for deserving officers have been on the rise.

“Using a transparent system where all eligible officers are given the opportunity to be considered for available slots, within our year in office, 44 officers have been recognized for their continued hard work and were promoted to higher ranks,” said Commissioner Queeley. “This is a clear indication that as we continue our efforts to improve the police service, top performers will be rewarded and a clear part of the advancement is now laid for officers to follow. Instruments such as the Performance Development Review (PDR) system is now in place to measure their performance.”

Commissioner Queeley said that to boost morale, police week was reintroduced within the past year. There has also been the rebirth of the police sports club. In addition, a monthly commissioner’s lecture will be held where officers can interact and bring to the fore their grievances. There will also be a quarterly commissioner’s parade.

“We’ve always known that drills are the foundation of discipline and this is an area we are so hell-bent on addressing,” he said. “We have also introduced the commissioner’s quarterly luncheon to acknowledge those hardworking officers within the rank over each quarter.”

The commissioner said that to continue to transform the police service, required resource capability will be looked at in terms of man power to provide optimum service for the continued citizen safety effort within the federation. Therefore, the police service will continue to improve its recruiting efforts.

“I am happy to report that with the completion of Course 40, some 30 recruits, freshly minted police constables, are now in service in our communities and initial reports are that they are doing well and adapting to the challenges of police work,” he said. “Another class, with again over 30 recruits will begin shortly as the recruitment process continues.”

The Human Resource Department within the Police Force has reported that the quality of the recruits has been significantly improving and a number of the new recruits are enlisted with first degrees.

“The police service is again becoming a top choice of our nation’s sons and daughters,” said Commissioner Queeley. “We encourage you to encourage them to come forward to serve. We will need our nation’s brightest and best in the areas such as accounting, chemistry, law and other disciplines as we fight against crime as this fight becomes more technical and complex. We will also need those with language skills as our federation begins to become a more diverse society.”

The commissioner said that to ensure continued high quality amongst recruits, the Force has strengthened its vetting process to include polygraph testing and very shortly it will be introducing psychological assessment to ensure suitability for this type of work.