Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 30, 2021 (SKNIS): The men and women of Recruit Course #45 are into their eighth week of police training. At this stage, the recruits are learning the extraordinary precision and discipline required to execute armed drills.
The course instructors at the Police Training School remain committed to bringing the best out of the recruits in the classroom and on the parade square. However, the task has been somewhat different over the past five weeks as the training is taking place amidst the community spread of COVID-19 in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We are operating in a bubble,” Inspector Shorna Edwards said. As Commandant of the Police Training School, she has direct responsibility for the recruit training, management of the compound, and the wellbeing of the men and women under her charge.
Inside the bubble, enhanced sanitizing measures are in place, and the recruits rarely leave the compound. If they must, such as to see a doctor, they are transported by an instructor to limit their contact with persons outside of the bubble.
“Sometimes they have family members who want to bring things for them,” Inspector Edwards stated, “We allow that, but they report to a particular section on the compound where they are screened. We see what they are bringing and what can be sanitized, we sanitize before giving it to the various recruits,”
The strict 24-hour curfew instituted on June 27, 2021, in St. Kitts required some adjustments to the training schedule.
“We hardly have any visiting lecturers right now,” she said. We should have started our English, Spanish, and Psychology/Sociology [classes] this week but because of the State of Emergency and the 24-hour lockdown that has to be put off until we (the country) regains our footing.”
As a result, the instructors have shifted a few courses around to maintain a full schedule. The controlled visits by family members are also temporarily suspended. Commandant Edwards said that despite these unique circumstances, the 28 men and women in training have maintained their focus.
“It is going good so far. It is quite surprising that we have a batch where just one person would have failed [the last] written test,” she said, noting that in the past, about six or seven recruits would sit a retest to raise their grades. The lone recruit did subsequently pass the retest.
Inspector Edwards reported that all is quiet at the school. She encouraged the public to cooperate with law enforcement at all times and to adhere to the health and safety protocols of wearing face masks, sanitizing hands, and staying six feet apart from others to break the chain of transmission of the deadly COVID-19 virus.