September 14, 2018
Police Act to be amended to change when recruits become police officers

The Police (Amendment) Bill 2018, which will amend the Act so that recruits to the police force will only become police officers after they have successfully completed their training, had its first reading in Parliament last week.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, on Monday at a meeting of police officers at the Police Lecture Hall at the Old Montrose Police Station said under the current policy, once a recruit is enlisted into the force, he immediately takes the oath of office and becomes a police officer, even before he or she commences the initial training at the Police Training School.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security said this has proved problematic to the leadership of the police force because some recruits, after they enlist, fail to display the attitude that is required of a police officer.

The Prime Minister said that based on recommendations from the Commissioner of Police and his high command, once the amended Act is passed, new recruits will take the oath of office only after he or she has successfully completed training at the police training school and only if he or she exhibits the required attitude and aptitude to hold the office of a police officer.
Under the amended Act, the probationary period for a recruit will increase from 18 months to two years.

According to the Prime Minister, a recruit might have most of the qualities sought after by the police, but lack the mental discipline that drives a police officer.