Poor management capacity in RSS member states’ police forces being addressed

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Poor management capacity in RSS member states’ police forces being addressed
The head table at the opening of the two-week session.
The head table at the opening of the two-week session.

A handful of supervisory police in Saint Lucia, Barbados and five other Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries within the Regional Security System (RSS) have converged at the Palm Haven Hotel for a “Supervisory Management Train the Trainers Course.”

The two-week session is being organised by the RSS with funding from the Canadian government.

Director of Training for the RSS, Yvonne Alexander told media that the course comes as a result of a needs assessment conducted among RSS members states in 2009/2010. The assessment, according to her, identified weak leadership capabilities within police forces.

Director of Training for the RSS, Yvonne Alexander

Management capacity was labeled as either limited or lacking on three levels: supervisors, middle to senior level managers and top leadership/senior commands of police forces.

Through the training, the RSS is seeking to address this particular concern. The course is being done in three phases in order to target each level of workers.

“You would appreciate that leadership would be at the forefront of any initiative to address the issue of crime and security in any country,” she said, adding that, “If you do not have very good and decisive leaders [who are] strategic in their thinking… then possibilities are that the efforts that are geared at controlling crime may not reap the benefits.”

The lawmen being trained within the next two weeks will have the responsibility to pass on the knowledge in their respective police forces once they are deemed certified.

“We [the RSS] realise targeting three to four individuals per country will not necessarily allow the kind of impact that we would like to see over a short period of time so it was decided that we will do a “train the trainers,” she said.

Chief instructors, other instructors of the various police training schools, along with officers with tertiary level education in management studies will also benefit from the “train the trainers” course.

It is hoped the participants will be introduced to the concept of adult learning and other idiosyncrasies that will allow them to be holistic instructors, Alexander said.

Participants will in the second week of training be required to deliver on different topics enclosed in the course syllabus for which they will be assessed.

While St. Lucia and the other countries have possession of the course syllabus, the RSS plans to conduct its own courses annually and hopes to target at least 25-30 supervisors per country annually.

“Hopefully the general public will begin to reap the benefits because you will have much more effective and efficient supervision of the types of services and service delivery of the various police forces and we hope to the benefit of the general public,” Alexander said.

“[We hope] people will see probably some of the more positive changes that will come out of this initiative that we are embarking on and hopefully we will have safer countries, safer region. This is like a drop in the bucket, but it is a drop that we hope its ripples will have tremendous benefits in the next few years, for our police forces and out region,” she said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Police Commissioner Errol Alexander called on trainees to make the best of the training which comes at a cost. This, he said, will help send out the message that the programme is worthwhile and would attract further funding from donors.

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