April 9, 2010
Discipline results in success, says Psychologist

FORENSIC Psychologist Kamecia Blake is of the view that police officers must display a high level of discipline if they are to succeed in their profession.{{more}}

Blake, who is attached to the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, holds a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from the University of Portsmouth. She spoke on the topic: “Discipline in service” as she addressed a Constables conference on Wednesday, March 31, at the Old Montrose Police Station.

According to Blake, the local constabulary should be considered as the most disciplined organisation in the country. “Sad to say, this may not be the case due to the lack of internal discipline, which is further reflected by the lack of respect received from the public,” Blake added.

The young Psychologist stated that discipline is just more than respect for others. She noted that discipline is one of those traits that is not acquired, but rather gained naturally.

She added that officers who are more dedicated would find it easier to reach practical solutions. “Officers should be tactical, smart, and be able to think beyond black and white. We need officers who can assess every issue before them rather than taking it at face value,” Blake noted.

As criminal tactics continue to evolve with the development in Technology, Blake stressed the importance of tackling criminal elements: “You have to think like criminals…it is only with this thought you can understand or apprehend criminals,” Blake noted.

The constables could not hold back their applause when Blake advised that the hierarchy of the force should address the lower ranks appropriately and the lower ranking officers should do the same.

She also exhorted the constables to strive for higher learning and read a lot. “You have to read often and keep abreast of law books and crime strategies…Do not make your years of service make you lazy, complacent and unwilling to learn,” Blake urged.

Sharing brief remarks at the conference, Commissioner of Police Keith Miller remarked that a lot of the work of the police force depends on the 560 strong police constables. “We have to rely heavily on you to implement the laws and policies of the Force, and we have to ensure that you are prepared to carry out your mandate,” Miller stated.

The top cop revealed that from time to time, he receives reports that constables are not doing what is expected of them, hence the reason for re-introducing the mentorship program. Coupled with this will be an appraisal system for the officers. “You will be able to showcase yourself better and be in a better position for us to monitor your progress,” Miller disclosed.