Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 11, 2021 (SKNIS): Police Training Course #45 is nearing completion, with 26 men and women set to become full-fledged officers of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.
Inspector Shorna Francis-Edwards, Commandant of the Police Training School, noted that the recruits have completed the written exams. Most of the practical exams such as self-defence, foot and armed drills and firearm training have also been completed. Currently, the group is reviewing materials such as court procedures. Last week, a mock court was held to go over some of the finer points, such as making a case file, giving testimony and presenting evidence.
Inspector Francis-Edwards added that this year’s training, which commenced in early May, required the staff to be innovative given the constraints brought about by the community spread of the COVID-19 virus in June.
“We usually bring in some past police officers to come and do revision with them, and we couldn’t do that this year so we did it in-house,” she said. The staff embraced the responsibility and ensured that the course materials were delivered with the usual high standards.
Recruit Dequanna Browne had high praise for the training staff, while Recruit Wilmoth Warner-Michel shared how the training has helped to transform his character.
“I rate our duty instructors along with the Inspector,” Browne said. “I rate their teaching, it is very good. They actually go deep into detail to make sure that we understand…. I think that if I had our duty instructors as my lecturers in school, I would have learnt a bit more.”
“It made me build some… confidence inside of me when speaking to persons. When I say confidence, I mean with authority. As a police officer, we should go out there and take charge when certain things are going on. We should keep the peace, make sure we maintain order and the strictness that Police Training School has, it builds that character inside of us,” Warner-Michel indicated.
The men and women of Course #45 also had to endure a national period of 24-hour curfew followed by days of limited operations. This meant that the recruits had to be confined to the compound for extended periods during training. Contact with the outside remained limited even as the restrictions were eased. The occasional weekend at home and other liberty were not allowed. Visitation to the Police Training School by family members was curtailed. When allowed, there was strict compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
However, Inspector Francis-Edwards said that the class adjusted well to the prevailing environment.
“The mindset is to get through the course so whether it was COVID or the flu, you know what you have to do so there was not much of an impact in a negative way for the recruits,” the Inspector expressed. “They accepted the fact that they would not be able to go out on weekends. We allowed them some time maybe just to go to the supermarket and grab some stuff that we would need and they were okay with it.”
The date for the Passing Out Parade for Course #45 will be announced at a later date.