The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) hosted a two (2) day training workshop for Gazetted Officers within the organization. The workshop was held under the theme “Retooling our leaders.” It commenced on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at the Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown, and culminated on Thursday, 29 September 2022.
Lieutenant William Theobalds, Training Officer in the RSVGPF gave an overview of the workshop during the opening ceremony. He noted that the workshop aimed to equip Gazetted Officers with the necessary skills to get the most out of their teams through a mixture of interactive learning resources including group discussions, presentations, and tutorial input. He further noted that the objectives of the workshop were to deal with change management, craft effective communication, and be emotionally intelligent.
Lt. Theobalds noted that the organization recognizes that every generation brings forth changes to the workplace and this has never been truer than with the young men and women entering law enforcement today. He further noted that as the organization continues to grapple with the need to keep up with policing in a technological world, the Police High Command must develop a workplace culture that embraces the younger officers.
He went on to state that senior executives are aware of the increasing complexities that exist, consequently, the organization sees the pressing need to support current and emerging leaders. He stated that senior officers must learn to be agile and resilient to the demands of this rapidly changing environment. According to Lt. Theobalds, the RSVGPF must be mindful of persons retiring from the senior ranks and taking their leadership skills and institutional knowledge with them. Therefore, the organization needs to provide the most innovative and up-to-date approaches for engaging current and future leaders.
In delivering brief remarks to declare the workshop open, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Colin John outlined that the genesis of the initiative originated from a previous Gazetted Officers’ meeting. The Commissioner said that the Police High Command is cognizant that there are some roles and responsibilities that members of the organization have to improve upon – as a result, a committee was formed to coordinate the workshop.
Speaking on the theme of the workshop, Commissioner John highlighted several reasons why it is important for the leadership of the RSVGPF to retool itself. In doing so, he posited that retooling helps officers perform better by improving the delivery of ‘tried’ and ‘tested’ methods used in serving members of the public. He encouraged the senior officers to embrace technology in the performance of their daily duties.
The Commissioner implored his senior officers to embrace change. He reminded the officers that the caliber of people joining the organization in this era is from a different generation – and while they are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining discipline among the ranks, senior officers must exercise tact while doing so. In addition, Commissioner John pointed out that retooling also means officers must know the “streets”. He emphasized that a police officer cannot stay in the office and do policing. He encouraged the officers to be able to decipher the code words used by criminals. This according to him can help to save a life and increase the success rate of the organization.
The workshop facilitators were Her Excellency, the Governor General, Dame Susan Dougan, GCMG, Ms. Dionne John, General Manager of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC Radio), Dr. Idelia Ferdinand, Senior Education Officer with responsibilities for School Research and Safety, and Ms. Melissa Roache, Administrative Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
The topics covered during the workshop were – Protocol, Disaster Management in Law Enforcement, Public Speaking, Public Affairs, and Good Graces
Lee Yan is a journalist based in Cebu, Philippines. For the past 10 years, he has worked in the media and writes part-time for the St. Vincent Times.