About thirty (30) persons are participating in the two-week training course. It is being held in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Sessions will cover a variety of topics including the Quarantine Act, customer service, report writing, giving evidence, self-defence and use of force, ethics in law enforcement, risk management and managing quarantine sites.
Force Personnel Officer, Clifford Govia, explained to the participants that National Security is the primary responsibility of the government and that it was part of the government’s mandate to keep people safe.
“The concept of National Security has expanded. Now we are talking about a pandemic,” Mr. Govia said, adding that as a result, it was necessary to recruit persons in order to help the government enforce the laws put in place to address the situation.
“In the process of doing this safety has to be the priority. Not only the safety of the persons you are working with, but we’re talking about your own personal safety. You need to adhere strictly to the protocols in place as well, you know the hand sanitising, social distancing, et cetera. That is critical,” he told the persons present. He continued by saying, “a part of the job, obviously, is customer service and that, of course, involves being able to speak to persons in a courteous manner and, just as important, being able to listen to persons when they are trying to explain certain things.”
Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy explained that the intention was to eventually replace Police Officers, some of whom were still carrying out such duties, with civilians. He said it was important to utilise all available Officers to address some of the offences that were still posing a challenge. He encouraged the participants to do their best and warned them that the course was not going to be easy.
“So, it’s not just two weeks of relaxing. It will be two weeks of intense training and you have to keep your head on and do your best. Everybody will not be at the top of the class, but I hope at the end when I return here in the next two weeks, that I hear from the commander that all persons are successful in passing this training,” Commissioner Brandy said.
At the end of the course, individuals who successfully complete the programme will either be posted at quarantine sites as security personnel or they will assist with ensuring compliance with the health protocols that were established last year.