To Protect and to Serve – Police Officers Deserve Far Better

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By Audley Phillip

Have you visited the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the St. John’s police precinct recently?  Phew!  Atrocious, deplorable, detestable, appalling are just some of the words I would use to describe the conditions there.

A police officers first job is to keep the community safe but the actual duties of the men and women in uniform extend beyond basic duties to serving as tour ambassadors, providing assistance to the public all whilst serving and protecting.  Police work seem to be both physically and mentally demanding especially compared to many other jobs.

Over recent years the police force have seen and experienced quite their share of drama, some would seem laughable but serious.  The police force have undergone personnel changes  at the top resulting from some of these issues.  In spite of all this, the officers have remained focused, resolute and committed to their pledge to protect and to serve even in less than satisfactory conditions.

The police is one of a number of essential service here in Antigua and so the police are duty bound to work even when conditions of work are far from acceptable.

The life of a police is not an easy one.  From work overload, stressful shift work, exposure to violent and life threatening situations, frustration in trying to solve cases, departmental politics, inadequate resources to do the job, lack of support and recognition from superiors,  autocratic leadership styles…..the police experience it all.  Even so, they are duty bound to go out and work  and to always give of their best.

The physical plant at the St. John’s Police Station and at CID in particular, is unfit for anyone to work in.  One just have to visit that precinct to get a firsthand view of the deplorable conditions under which the hard working officers are forced to work.  No amount of patching up or quick fix can remedy the sad state of affairs there………stripped up floor tiles, dilapidated and broken office furniture, cardboard placed at broken widows in order to keep the elements out, broken and faulty toilets, lack of running water, leaky roofs and much more. It is a downright shame that officers are forced to work in these conditions as promises to fix and repair them have not materialized.

I am personally ashamed and embarrassed at the treatment meted out to the hard working men and women in the police force.  The conditions of the St. John’s Police Station and at the Criminal Investigations Department in particular do not meet the minimum standard that is required in the working environment.    I would hate to think that such conditions exist at all of the other satellite stations across Antigua and Barbuda.

As a private citizen and one who knows and values  the work of the police, I am therefore calling on the Minister under whose portfolio the police falls to quickly address the condition of the precinct as a matter of urgency.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Whoever you are, I have not read such an enlightening blog for such a long time. Kudos to you for taking the time off to support us and to recognize the deplorable and unhealthy conditions we have been forced to work in. But this conditions are the makings of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda. Firstly the leaders in the force play to much politics! They will come in various meetings and say government have no money. I tend to wonder sometimes if these officers are the ones at the head of the treasury. These leaders are no leaders at all since nothing is done by them to moralize and see the men and women they are supposed to lead are working in a comfortable environment. A happy employee makes a happy costumer. Second the people at the top are to busy watching each other and the next promotion list. Hence, to much infighting at the top to bother about the working environment of subordinates. They forgot who makes them look good when the going is good. Next, a none existent to a full of shit welfare association. The present members who have all gotten promotions to keep them dorcile “the famous cheese in the mouth syndrome” are afraid or have refused to attack the government on these issues, since they have gotten their personal rewards for doing absolutely nothing. Here I will take the opportunity and say the police welfare association and it’s current members your time have passed and you have used the opportunity to get elivated call the elections so other persons can be elivated too. The working body of the force has reached a stage where they are demoralized and don’t care. The general thinking is come to work, finish at the time specified and go home. I must get paid month end. End of story. Who cares what get fixed and what doesn’t. Plus there is a new in thing in the force that only office workers and close friends get promoted. To hell with the actuall investigators and persons who work until late mornings to take person befor magistrates and judge and juries. Sir, thanks for looking out for us but it goes deeper than you think. Don’t blame the government but blame the members of the royal police force who wants to keep treasury money in the treasury.

  2. I went into CID AND WHAT I SAW WAS REALLY TERRIBLE CARDBOARD AT THE WINDOWS, RUBBER TILES CRACKED UP LEAVING THE FLOOR LOOKING A REAL MESS. THE ONLY DECENT OFFICE IN ANYONE OF THE POLICE STATIONSIS THE ACCOUNTS OFFICE AT PHQ. POLICE OFFICERS STOP PLAYING POLITICS AND STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU WANT.

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