CoP: Station guards waste of manpower

San Fernando Police Station. File photo
San Fernando Police Station. File photo

POLICE assigned to guard police stations are to be reassigned to duties which include maintaining high visibility on the streets.

CoP Gary Griffith, who is in London having talks with British police on expertise training for local police, said more than one-third of the manpower in the police service is assigned guard duties outside police stations, and he views this as a waste of manpower. He said on his return from London a directive will be given for officers in all police divisions who were previously assigned those duties to be recalled and posted elsewhere.

Griffith said having looked at the manpower in the police service, he is of the view that some of the duties assigned to officers are outdated and resembled policing objectives introduced more than five decades ago.

“This type of policing is unacceptable. We do not need police officers guarding buildings, we need them to be out there protecting citizens, and this is what I intend to do. I need my officers out on the beat doing what they are trained to do: to protect and serve – not standing in front of a police building with a gun. That is not my idea of maximising your resources.”

He said over the next three months the police service will undergo a re-branding, retooling and restructuring in which all resources will be utilised to their fullest capacity.

Additionally, Griffith intends to make some transfers in an effort to post officers where they are better suited. He said, for instance, some officers assigned guard duties may be excellent at information gathering and their skills have been wasted.

“I intend to change that, and when this exercise is completed the public will be better served and the police service will be able to run more efficiently.”

He warned that several units set up under former commissioners will be disbanded and reintegrated into other units.

“We have a situation where some units are doing the same work and this is proving to be a waste of manpower resources and we have to do things differently to get different results. It cannot be same old same old. Things have to change and with those changes, we will have a better organisation where we will be better able to serve our clientele which is the public.”

He said under various administrations people were hired to do audits and restructure the police service, but nothing was done to make it more efficient.

“People submitted extremely long reports, others made recommendations; but the police service remained stagnant.

"But I intend to change that. It is time that the public benefit from the training and skills of all police officers so that the country could become safer, in the interest of all.”

Professor Stephen Mastrofski was paid millions of dollars to restructure and rebrand the police service and made several recommendations, but none bore fruit.

In October 2017, the Police Manpower Audit Committee presented its 600-plus-page report to the Prime Minister. The Office of the Prime Minister said back then that Dr Rowley would take the report to Cabinet, then to Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on National Security. He said Government will use the report as the blueprint for the road ahead for transforming the police service.

Prof Ramesh Deosaran, who led the committee, said the report contained several powerful recommendations and was based on facts and not just anecdotal data. He said there would be social and economic value in implementing the recommendations included in the report and commended the Prime Minister for ensuring the committee felt confident to pursue its mandate.


"CoP: Station guards waste of manpower"

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