Forty-eight (48) police officers and six (6) auxiliary police officers stationed in the Central Division were recognized for their hard work and dedication to duty in 2022. The officers received their accolades at an Appreciation and Awards Dinner on Saturday 4th March 2023 that was held at the Questelles Learning Resource Center under the theme “Quest for less for 2023: Crime Prevention Requires You and Me.”
In his wide-ranging featured address, Hon. Grenville Williams, the Attorney General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines touched on several law enforcement, behavioural and social issues that St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the police are being confronted with, including – Professionalism, Intelligence Led Policing, Community Policing, Neighbourhood Watch, Police Youth Clubs, Communication, Police Presence, Road Use and policing High-Risk Communities among others.
In addressing the 2022 homicide rate, the Attorney General hypothesized that if the current homicide rate continues on its current trajectory, SVG can lose 420 people to homicides over the next decade. “To begin to address, resolve and deal effectively with the crime and violence – we need to have critical, broad-based conversations with the society at large- supported by intelligence and data – to allow us to make evidence-based decisions about criminogenic environment”, said Mr. Williams.
He continued “if we are to successfully pursue the ‘Quest for less for 2023- crime prevention requires you and me’, it requires a whole of society approach to putting citizens and their rights first in the criminal justice institutions, particular – the police. This requires dialogue with and the inclusion of community groups, schools, government institutions, prisons, the Office of the DPP, the Chambers of the Attorney General, the Magistracy and Judiciary, and leveraging the expertise of regional and international development and law enforcement and criminal justice partners such as the Regional Security System and CARICOM IMPACS.”
Mr. Williams encouraged the officers to always act in a professional manner when executing their duties. “The police must set high standards for itself, remembering that at all times, that you are here to serve the public and not the other way around. High standards must be set in relation to receiving complaints from the public, conducting your investigations, and keeping the public engaged and informed of the progress of your investigations.”
The commissioner of Police, Mr. Colin John congratulated the awardees. He noted that they are people who must be entrusted with confidence, henceforth the reason for them being awarded. He thanked Superintendent Blake for her leadership and for organizing a month of activities along with her team.
According to the Commissioner the RSVGPF is doing an excellent job in carrying out its mandate, however, there is always room for improvement. He noted that the road to success is always under construction and encouraged the officers to not depend on their previous performance but to always strive for perfection. He encouraged the officers to continue to work hard to ensure that they are providing excellent service to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In closing the Commissioner thanked Superintendent Blake and the sponsors within the division for their generosity. He stated that the government with all its good intentions cannot do it alone, therefore it is incumbent upon the business community to support the police and their initiatives. He ended by stating that the Questelles Police Station should be getting a transportation of their own which was greeted with applause.
In delivering remarks at the ceremony, the Divisional Commander of the Central Division, Superintendent of Police, Ms. Kamecia Blake expounded on Maslow’s Theory of Motivation. She said, “Recognition is an integral component of motivation and motivation is a meaningful construct when examining the pillars of the workplace.” She advocated that in order for an organization to thrive and be efficient certain conditions must be available so that managers can get the best out of its human resources.
Reminiscing on the last three years, the Divisional Commander said that the policing dynamic changed and became more challenging due to several factors – including, the COVID-19 pandemic, the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano, and a reduction of staff due to the vaccine mandate coupled with the high attrition rate to the Armed Forces in the United Kingdom.
Superintendent Blake also highlighted the many success that members of her staff were able to accomplish over the past year which included the following:
Execution of 69 warrants for non-payment of court fines in the amount of $41,062.00.
Increase in total arrests over the figures in 2021.
Full transition to the CariSECURE system – a data management system.
Reduction in the backlog of investigations resulting from the addition of a full-time CID personnel at the Questelles Police Station.
In outlining some of the goals of the Central Division for 2023, Superintendent Blake informed the audience her team intends to raise public awareness about crime prevention methods, recognize a member of the staff as Officer of the Month, and foster a closer working relationship with the business community. She thanked her staff for their support, the Commissioner of Police, the Justices of the Peace, members of the business community, and the public in general.
Some of the officers who received awards were: Constables (PCs) 760 John – Most Outstanding Officer at the Questelles Police Station and Central Division overall, 383 Joseph, Most Outstanding Officer at Beat and Patrol, 1008 Pope, Most arrest for 2022, 882 Gonsalves, Officer of the Month of January, 317 Chambers, Officer of the Month of February, Corporals (Cpl’s) 134 Ballantyne, Officer of the Month of January, 260 Bushay, Officer of the Month of February and auxiliary police constable (APC) Konica Williams, Most Outstanding of Auxiliary Police Officer for 2022.
Officers who have already proceeded on pre-retirement leave and those who were about to retire were also recognised. These officers were – Sergeant of Police (SGT.) 190 Arleen Williams, 445 Verrol Massiah, Constable 417 Leonard Galley and Auxiliary Police Corporal, Maureen Bruce.