Barbados Government Solution To Police Recruitment Problem: LOWER STANDARDS

New Lower Standards Show That Government Doesn’t Really Value Policing

No Matter What The Governments Says – Look At What They Do!

Maybe we should forget about those shiny new flyovers and pay the police enough to attract and keep our brightest, most dedicated, career-oriented young men and women? Don’t we want to hire the best people we can to protect our families and enforce the laws of our society?

Nah… let’s just lower the standards so we can hire lower-qualified people. The kind of people that we never would have trusted before with a police officer’s authority. Yes, let’s hire people who aren’t educated enough to compete in the real world employment market.

Now that’s a plan!

More Police Needed

Government has taken steps to shore up the numbers in the Royal Barbados Police Force as it copes with a negative response to its ongoing recruitment drive.

Attorney General Dale Marshall went to Parliament today with a bill to change the qualification requirements for special constables who don’t meet the minimum qualifications to enter the force.

It’s called the Police Amendment Bill 2007.

… read the original article online at CBC (link here)

Also see BFP’s Barbados Police Officers Heading Elsewhere

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34 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

34 responses to “Barbados Government Solution To Police Recruitment Problem: LOWER STANDARDS

  1. De Orginal

    It is indeed sad that the country have come to this. The solution here is simple there is an urgent need for the GOB to increase the salary and conditions of police officers. Until this is done there is no way they will attract the type of person necessary to do the job. I believe introduction of incentives to study, housing allowances, better physical conditions, health insurance and dutyfree vehicles (personal).

    Also the management structure should definitely be looked at in an effort to boost morale.

  2. Economix

    Barbados cannot afford itself.

  3. BK

    the big dilemma for the GoB is that emoluments to the Police cannot be considered in isolation to other sectors in the public service.

  4. BK
    February 28th, 2007 at 12:46 pm
    the big dilemma for the GoB is that emoluments to the Police cannot be considered in isolation to other sectors in the public service.
    ———————————————————
    Why is this? Was the famous Owen comment to the Police sick out several years ago that they are not special or above other civil servants his personal feeling? or a result of some law?

    ….Times have change, and laws need to reflect and react to these changes. Security, law and order is the leading concern of any government today, and therefore making sure that security agents are well staffed, confident, well equiped are of paramount importance. Any government that toys around with security should be dispatch forthwith.

  5. Velzo

    This is one time I agree wth Adrian! I am going to drink a glass of wine with my lunch. Despatch them Adrie!

  6. Velzo
    February 28th, 2007 at 3:35 pm
    This is one time I agree wth Adrian! I am going to drink a glass of wine with my lunch. Despatch them Adrie!
    ————————-

    Indeed they will be despatched.
    The current parliament and it’d extremely large sub-committee, the cabinet, will be parouged when elections are called. It is believed by me that by this time next year we will have a new parliament and a new cabinet and government. It is my hope that this cabinet and this government does have David Thompson as it’s first amongts his equals. 😀 ha ha ha ha hah lord don’t cuss muh. 😀

  7. BK

    The reality of the situation is the RBPF has been affected more by poaching by Bermuda, Cayman and other countries than by the low pay because the pay offered is by far and away above anything the GoB can afford. Let me say that i have always felt that the Police job should be weighted differently but in the Banana Republics which we live our unions will have a lot to say about this for the obvious reasons.

  8. BK: I believe if you dig a little deepers you will find that if the pay was not low in the first place then Bermuda and the Caymans couldn’t poach as effective as they did. Now i concider myself an economic refugee in America, accepting the fact that the first time i left the rock was to pick up residence up here, and that this simply as a result of pay prospects. I believe that my situation is shared by many others who left the rock, it is the lack of a decent pay, and while i will not attempt to fault Barbados for this, i will fault them for seeing nothing wrong this migration pattern when it involves our policemen.
    BTW; contable Joseph who died on a contruction site in NY city exemplifies the pay problem, also the moonlighting that takes place.

    Unions: If the GoB had any interest in paying policemen properly they can easily win the argument against the Union in the court of public opinion from a security perspective.

  9. Royalrumble

    The challenge facing our police force in nothing new. In fact it is the same problem that most developed and developing countries the likes of Barbados will continue to face.

    The problem is not political and therefore can not be solve by political rhetoric. The problem is not one of mainly remuneration and connot be solve by simply an increase of salary. To suggest any of the above is to be myopic in ones political out look and display a lack of understanding of the sociological changes currently gripping the country.

    All around the world we have seen evidence of the behavioral patterns in societies that are on the verge of full development. In all these societies, England, Canada and the USA, to mentioned some those that we are readily familiar, jobs that are considered menial were avioded by the locals and had to be filled immigrant labour.

    The larges exodus of people from the Caribbean region in the 19940s and 50s were experienced at at when develop countries were looking for workers to fill jobs that their locals refused to do. We in Barbados have not only seen this pattern developing in our police force but in our sugar industry and other areas of the society.

    If monetary reward was the only solution then Bermuda would not have had the problem that they had in filling their vacancies in their police force. So clearly the problem is beyond money and moral. Is more about the birth of a vibrant and affluent society where persons are now more picky about what kind of work they will and will not do. In short we are becoming victims of our own success.

    *********************

    Comment by Cliverton

    RR totally dismisses the salary aspect as a reason why police officers are leaving and why so few quality young people seek a police career.

    I think he is wrong. Money is 75% of the recruit problem and 100% of the staff retention problem. The officers themselves say so and I believe them. When Constables are paid more in Bermuda than Chief Dottin is paid in Barbados – Money IS the problem!

  10. bajejun

    I agree with Adrian, we have a Prime Minister who for years has shown gross disrespect to the police( these are the same men and women that have to guard him when he is sound asleep, home or elsewhere) refusing to improve pay , waiting until buildings are falling down around them, or making them sick, having guard people’s houses all night without the dignity of somewhere to relieve themselves or even shelter. Now they have the commissioner of Police begging the Bermuda Police commissioner to ease up. Yet when this goverment finally makes some feeble contribution to the police they parade themselves in the media as the god send.
    shame, Shame , shane. I agree with Patrick Todd,
    VOTE THEM OUT.

  11. Hants

    Barbados Policemen are grossly underpaid. The starting salary out of training school should be at least $30,000 a year plus a comprehensive benefits package and incentives to improve their careers.

    They are among the most underpaid members of Barbadian society yet are critical to the well being of the country.

  12. Jerome Hinds

    Royalrumble, says,

    ” The problem is not political and therefore can not be solve by political rhetoric. The problem is not one of mainly remuneration and connot be solve by simply an increase of salary. To suggest any of the above is to be myopic in ones political out look and display a lack of understanding of the sociological changes currently gripping the country “.
    ——————————————–
    Royalrumble on the issue of being myopic…….your head ” honcho ” Owen once told the policemen and women….they are not SPECIAL….!!!

    That is being MYOPIC….don’t you AGREE…..???

    After that MYOPIC statement the number of applications to join the RBPF declined sharply..!!

    But then again you are so blinded by the BLP muck that you can’t see…..yourself….!!!

  13. De Orginal

    I agree with Cliverton 100%. “Comment by Cliverton

    RR totally dismisses the salary aspect as a reason why police officers are leaving and why so few quality young people seek a police career.

    I think he is wrong. Money is 75% of the recruit problem and 100% of the staff retention problem. The officers themselves say so and I believe them. When Constables are paid more in Bermuda than Chief Dottin is paid in Barbados – Money IS the problem!” As usual Royal—–ble has missed the issue by a mile in his typical style. The government of Barbados have in the words of Dale Marshall have no intention to pay the police anymore money. When a person seeks to defend the action of politicians in the stance they take against improvement of conditions of service for essential services it is a sad day in Barbados.

    So to royal Rumble i say continue with your disservice to the country…….. in your continued support of nosense policies that seek to fatten you and your friends pockets while the country lose. As always i say where there is no integrity, accountablity and transparency there can be no development and advancement of the people.

  14. Bajanboy

    I do not think we need more police; we just need to use them more efficiently. Here are a few things that could be done.

    1. Decriminalise or legalise marijuana. Government should grow it and tax it. Far too much police manpower goes into controlling it and also controlling the gang crime associated with its sale.

    2. Implement tickets for traffic and other minor offences that can be paid at any bill payment centre.

    3. Hire clerical staff to take statements, answer phones etc and let the police worry about solving crimes and patrolling.

    4. Ban all guns. If it works in the UK, it can work here.

    5. Implement a three strikes policy. Too many people have many too many repeat convictions. People who commit violent crimes should be on probation for at least ten years after they are released including curfews and behaviour restrictions (such as prevented from consuming alcohol).

    6. Control alcohol consumption including a ban on drink driving. While we are at it, ban use of cell phone while driving.

    7. Put far greater emphasis on rehabilitation including learning a skill and education while in prison.

    8. Companies should be given incentives for hiring people just released from prison. Government should make sure that prisoners have jobs before they are released.

    These are just some ramblings on the topic.

  15. ILLUMINATOR

    Brilliant , an open minded set of ideas for once. Ever considered being Attorney General , i am sure you’d blast Marshall out of the water with his ‘in the box under the cellar solutions'( in other words no imagination or creative thinking )

  16. herefordian

    Good list Bajanboy – I must admit I do wonder how many man hours are wasted by police attending (and reporting) on minor traffic incidents. And talking of which, back end of last year a friend of mine witnessed a group of policemen in Holetown drag a woman from her car then one of them knocked her spark out (in broad daylight) – what is that all about? is that down to lack of training or are we just employing thugs?

  17. Bajanboy

    Herefordian:

    You are right about minor traffic accidents. People who are involved in such accidents sit their for an hour waiting for police, causing huge traffic problems, sometimes just for minor scratches or body work. Police and insurance companies should work together and agree that for repairs that are likely to cost less than $5000 (they could give some examples of what type of damage might be covered under that figure) the parties should exchange contact and insurance details and arrange to meet at a mutually convenient time to discuss who was at fault.

  18. Royal Rumble: Owen exerbated the Police manpower issue with his “there are not special statement” it was a statement of anger, it was condesending, and Barbadians understanding the concentration of power a Prime Minister enjoys, being an elected dictator, they new that being hamstrung by law that they could not win the argument and therefore stood to be in the wilderness much longer. I do understand the political expediantcy of deliberately mixing the long tradition of Barbadian policemen leaving the force for NY, Bahamas, etc. with what is occuring today as result of Owen’s arrogant dismissal of the Policemen’s concerns. Members leaving the force are higher, and the perception out there is, it is not a good place to seek employement, cause the Prime Minster seh so”. I must tell you that i have such a strong love of self that where i a policeman, having being subjected to Owen’s taunt (You are not special) over what i believe is a legitimate right and concern, then to be told in the same dispute also by Owen that “The Police is a dicipline organization and that by law certain actions are expected of them” in other words, I aint care nutting bout you, but i demand of you to protect me and my government, that i would have resign my oath and committment becuase i could not in good faith accept both statements.

    I ranting, but let me tell wunnuh this. Bajans love to drown their sorrows wid liquor, and If wunnuh in government continue to treat Bajans this way, and then join wid Pastor Victor Roach and Bajan Boy and band alcohol consumption wunnuh gine can’t tell de difference between a Bajan and Jamaican. 😀 Mark my words.

  19. Royalrumble

    Gentlemen I will ignore the harmless political spears so that I can stay focussed on the issue at hand. As I have said before the issue is not political. If It were so then we could easily argue that the DLP did nothing to rectify the problem when they were in Office and therefore has no moral authority to speak to the issue now or condemn the Government. Afterall the Government has done more for the Policemen and Policewomen in this country than the DLP. The DLP cannot tell you when last they built a police station in this country or even refurbished one. The Dems have not offerred a salary increase even near what has been granted at any time when they were in office. So dont let us talk politics with the issue because the DLP’s record in dealing with the police is scandalous.

    Now, let us understand that the Police Department forms part of the civil service and certain relativities have been established with respect to salaries, qualifications, job discription etc. The Police Department cannot therefore be treated in isolation. Our Teachers, Nurses and even sanitation workers can all make a plausible case for special treatment because of their critical contribution to the development of the country. At the end of the day the question that has to be anwered is this. Can the country afford to meet everyones request?

    Constables joining and remaining with the force earns between $25,000.00 and $37,000.00 a year, depending on the length of service. In addition to their basic salaries they also qualify for:

    (1) Washing Allowance
    (2) Duty Allowance
    (3) Plain Clothes Allowance
    (4) Detective Allowance

    A person entering the Force with a degree starts at a salary of approximately $30,000. exclusive of the allowances. So that Hants your view that Officers should be earning a minimun of $30,000 a year is already in place in most cases.

  20. justice

    Are you people serious? A constable earns $37, ooo a year and should be content with that? What are the salaries of those half-educated political lackies whom we are supposed to call consultants? What is the salary of the average reporter? From whom much is expected, much should be given.

  21. RoyalRumble that is understood, and the police will tell you that they had high hopes with Owen base on election promises and manifesto claims that they now stood a chance not provide or given under the DLP. The fustration set in when this government made the comments which they often do and did not follow thru with action. The regrading and other concerns of the police that Owen promise he would deal with did not happen without the confrontation between the GoB and the Police association planned sickout. I believe it was always political and that the argument could be made that it was the police against the DLP, but Owen certainly made it the Police association against the political leadership of Barbados by institutionalizing in the minds of the p0lice that it matters not who is in charge that the results will be the same. You can deny or attempt to dismiss the damage the “You are not special” comment did to the image of the Police force, but i will not. The Prime Minister by his statement has demonstrated to the lawless that they too can disregard the police. His actions as the most powerful man in the land cannot be viewed in a vacuum and cannot be ignored.

  22. Velzo

    One question for Royalrumble that will show how assinine and ignorant he is: who built the new Holetown Police Complex?

  23. Velzo

    And, I might add, who did the regrading exercise in 1999 that saw senior police officers walking away with bigger pay packets? Royalrumble, you are an ignorant joker whose salary the taxpayers of Barbados should not have to pay. You should be picking pond-grass.

  24. De Orginal

    Velo let me add to that there was a recent regrading which left out the majority of the police force. Again Roya,,,,,,,,,,, have shown us how blind and deviod of reason he is in an effort to defend folly by his masters. his assertion that a constable earned $37,000.00 was not wrong but misleading. He should have said that those constables are in the minority and that those persons are usually doing more than 25 years service. The majority of constables in the Royal Barbados Police Force earn less than $26,000.00 which works out to be $2,166.66 Gross Salary. I dare ROYALRUMBLE to refute that . It is totally annoying to hear and see people such as he try to distort the situation.

  25. Why huge gap in pay?

    Date September 15, 2006
    Brief It is amazing to me that a constable who joins the Royal Barbados Police Force is paid the princely sum of about $1 900 per month, while a minister’s personal assistant, who needs no special training, starts at about $4 400 per month!
    – Ray Stuart

    Hey RR can you shed any light on this?

  26. At present, a new entry as a constable earns approximately $2 061 monthly compared to the lucrative Bermuda five-year contract which guarantees about $11 000 per month.

    “For instance, a security guard at the airport starts at $2 500 monthly, which is more than the starting salary of a constable.

    “I can say that if we are not careful, it can sap the morale of the force and it becomes more difficult as leaders to motivate officers to achive greater levels of performance,” he added.

    Darwin Dottin.

  27. Martsie

    Herfordian speaks of an issue in Holetown when a policeman knocked a woman spark out. Was he a witness to this? If so send Chief Dottin a statement. Did the woman strike the officer? yes or no? If you hit a member of the public He/ She will hit you back… the police come from that same public.
    To Royal: A constable does not work at start for $37,000.00 BDS and furthermore why would you want to compare jobs and persons?
    You appear to be a yard fowl. Can you nt see and read the comments of the other guys? Barbados cannot be compared with Bermuda but to show you read this…. A barbadian cop works harder for less pay (the economy considered) while a bermudan works easier for much more. a bajan cop in Bermuda is a second class citizen my friend. Which do you put first Money or self. Money my friend while important is not the be….all to life. I could write every day for years on this, so be constructive in your comments and give solutions.

  28. Hants

    RoyalRumble says “So that Hants your view that Officers should be earning a minimun of $30,000 a year is already in place in most cases.” That is NOT true RoyalRumble.
    In most cases it is persons without Degrees who enter the Force .

    $30,000 a year is a reasonable starting salary for those with the minimum qualifications required.

    Policemen are trained for their jobs at the “police Training School” and all learn the same things whether they have University degrees or not. They should be paid a minimum of $30,000 per year from the day they leave training school.

  29. To Royal Rumble:

    ….as I was saying Owen Arthur has furthered the disrespect for the police, by publicly stating to the police (YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL). The biggest offenders are those at the top. That Hudson Husbands (could someone tell this man to change his eye wear?) could easily breach security resulting in an international rebuke of Barbados, and the Police have to be subjected to this most degrading spectacle, all I can is wow.

  30. Anonymous

    I just want to say that i have read all of the posts in this section and i am very pleased to see that there are so many of you, here at least, who seem to be empathetic to the plight of our local boys in grey and dark blue. We get nonsense pay and everyone here seems to know it besides that one individual. On a given night i have had to attend and accident, a burglary scene and go to a report and deal with someone high on some unknown substance and hurting their own self and take them to the hospital and that is exclusive of patrolling while everyone else is in their house sleeping.

    Don’t get me wrong i like the job, but when my Prime Minister can say that i and my colleagues are not special a certain degree of frustration sets in. I want more money for what i do plain and simple. Security guards make more than me, government assistants make more that me, and i do way more than the security guards. This thing has me so upset and i not to long start this job and if things do not change and soon i will soon leave it. I do not know what the consensus is in relation to the idea of the intellectual levels of the police officer- i have met a certain amount of persons who feel that police are idiots- but i have a good idea of what it will be now that everyone has been told that one needs not be qualified to be a police, and make no mistake about it, that is how the move by the government will be interpreted.

    Something has to be done, maybe a sick out, but this might only lead to the general body of the force realizing that the person at the top of the association is not a man but a traitor and would sell out for a couple thousand dollars for himself vis-a-vis the previous leader and the sick out that is supposed to have brought so much change and benefit. If David gets his act together maybe, if the members of the force can find a person with heart, and honor and big “cohoonas” (mussie spell wrong) maybe, if the public don’t get vex if the police fight for what is rightfully their just do maybe. Those are a few maybes and maybe i might not be around to see any sort of change but i am glad that i found such sensible comments on my little surf tonight.

    One more comment it is not only the pull factor of the money that makes officers leave, there is also the push factor. This relates to the persons in senior positions who see it fit to treat junior officers life dogs, showing them little or no respect. My opinion on this behaviour is that they- the senior officers who have little or no academic qualification- are threatened by the young vibrant and qualified constable who is making more than they were when they joined, and not that much less than they are, and who might because of academics, make more in a short period than they have in their entire career, all be it pauper wages in the end. People are prone to feelings of jealousy and greed and if a man has been working decades and can barely afford a 1990 something car, and a youngster with 8 CXC’s and 2 A’ levels and not a chick or chile that now come driving a fairly new Toyota to work ( payments and insurance a struggle) the older fellow will be a bit angered and annoyed and will take out some of his frustrations on the youngster. Just say that to say that nuff unfair things does go on in the force that the public don’t know about. the bottom line pay we better cause generally and i think everyone, except you know who, knows that police do an excellent job, except when they allow volunteers to search them.

  31. mudkid

    herefordian
    March 1st, 2007 at 1:05 pm
    Good list Bajanboy – I must admit I do wonder how many man hours are wasted by police attending (and reporting) on minor traffic incidents. And talking of which, back end of last year a friend of mine witnessed a group of policemen in Holetown drag a woman from her car then one of them knocked her spark out (in broad daylight) – what is that all about? is that down to lack of training or are we just employing thugs?

    Hi Herefordian
    It was all about a traffic violation and ego /
    I am that woman (traffic violation).I was punched twice in the face by outsize thug ( man with an ego problem) in a uniform whilst on my way to the library.
    I was arrested, kept for hours refused bail, jailed overnight and despite massive facial brusing was charged with asaulting a police officier.
    The hostility at Holetown Police station was tangible , intimidating and completely unprofessional. The charges are false it is the police that are guilty of lies and colusion.

    Many people wittnessed this incident ( it was at 3.30 in the afternoon) and have acknowledged what they saw but refused to be witnesses because of fear of police retribution. This is indictative of the feeling the police generate – fear.

    Mudkid

  32. mudkid

    Hi Martsie

    I did not strike the policeman I did refuse to give him my age ( not a legal requirement )which angered him . He punched me (first)in the head through the window of my car.
    He dragged me out of my car by the hair before punching me full on in the face.

    A police officier is suposed to be trained he is NOT suposed to beat up members of the public for misdemeanours.
    This is caused ‘use of excessive force’
    Why do you need to punch a woman in the head for doing a rolling stop?
    The problem is that some (not all ) officiers think that they are above the law .

    Mudkid

  33. mudkid

    Anybody

    I heard that the police force itself has a “zero tolerance” level regarding the use of excessive force .
    Also that the Government has set up an independent authority to investigate allegations of excessive use of force or misconduct by police.

    Does anyone know how one would get in touch with this authority?

  34. Police service is diminishing in quality.. I agree that some police feel that they are above the law.. I’ve been a victim of police extortion and harassment.. Too bad!