Kammie Holder: Give our police their due, they should be our “Police Service” and not “Police Force”

In his Friday column in The Nation, Kammie Holder gives praise to the men and women of our Royal Barbados Police Force and throws a barb at those (including BFP) who don’t temper their criticism of the police with praise.

We at BFP plead guilty to the offence, but we’ll leave it be and just say that Kammie has a point.

Kammie also has a point that words matter. He says that the police FORCE should change it’s name to reflect a new approach. According to Kammie, the Royal Barbados Police Force should change its name to Royal Barbados Police Service.

For the record, we at BFP agree.

Also for the record, dump the phrase “reassure” from the RBPF slogan. We don’t want “reassurance” – we want RESULTS and a safe community.

Please visit The Nation link here to read what Kammie has to say.

BUT… we’ll reprint Kammie’s column in full so that when The Nation wants to change history again by deleting or modifying what they published, at least this post will exist…

Kammie Holder - Candidate for Parliament?

SWIMMING UPSTREAM: Our police deserving of credit

by Kammie Holder (Original published at The Nation link here)

Very often we are fast to pull down and criticise. However, kudos goes to the fine men and women of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) led by the Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin.

Sometimes, criticism is necessary to keep complacency and stagnation at bay. Everyone has a right to praise or condemn when he or she sees fit.
The recent swift arrest of two men for the Tudor Street fire shows what can be achieved when there is a harmonious relationship between the Police Force and John Public.

Common sense also tells me that more crimes will be solved in the groundswell of confidence towards the RBPF. I beg and plead with you not to squander this groundswell of support and confidence.

We as Barbadians must be proud, that we still have a police force which has not adopted inhuman or draconian measures in the execution of their duties as seen on reality television show Cops. The hierarchy of the RBPF must publicly recognise the outstanding officers in each division or department.

It does not take a rocket scientist to discover that praise and recognition are some of the greatest motivators of mankind.

Why cannot the Officer Of The Year be featured in the media? Why cannot the Officer Of The Year be given a trip or pampering hotel stay?

I can imagine the pessimists among you spewing out why no incentives. Thus, I beg to ask, are these women and men only good enough to patrol around hotels?

The term civil servant may be an oxymoron but even dogs fly and stay in hotels. Let’s love, pamper, praise and show our appreciation to the members of the RBPF as they put our safety above their own.

Finally, let me share a section of the Royal Barbados Police Force Code Of Ethics: “As a member of the Royal Barbados Police Force, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.”

Thus, when will we see the word force replaced with service?

• Kammie M. Holder, the boy from the village, witnessed first-hand policemen in Ghana taking bribes.


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

6 responses to “Kammie Holder: Give our police their due, they should be our “Police Service” and not “Police Force”

  1. mac

    To serve & protect should be the motto on every vehicle & badge.

    Agreed, the good officers should be rewarded as strongly as the bad should be rooted out. A rotten apple taints the barrel really fast.

    The hierarchy needs to be as spotless as they want their officers to be. Given the C.O.P’s current issues, what message does this send to his Officers.

    As you credit where credit due is very important for morale & faith in the future.

  2. Robert Deschappé

    I agree that kudos should be given to police officers, however, I think that we should look at areas to improve the quality of officers to be recruited as well as those already in the force. This would serve to improve the overall service delivery. For example, instead of pursuing the traditional law degrees as is presently done by most police-officers, prospective and current officers could concentrate on specialist areas such as Forensic Investigation, Computer Forensics, Forensic Psychology and Criminal Investigation, Policing and Criminal Investigation for detectives; Terrorism and Security, Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Database Administration and Management. These are just a few degree programs that would give officers the opportunity to acquire a high level of scientific expertise with varied and advanced analytical, problem solving and transferable skills. Additionally, it would ensure confidence in policemen, as well as quell our perceive reliance on overseas help, since Barbadian policemen would have undergone similar training to their overseas counterparts.

  3. Mac said..

    ..”To serve & protect should be the motto on every vehicle & badge.”

    oh but I was so enjoying the Re-assure bit as well.

    Maybe that’s a bit wussy? don’t you think?
    Placating old ladies is what comes to mind?

  4. Sayed

    @Robert Deschappé

    are you a foreigner? You speak with alot of sense and what you said is a very good idea.

    Unfortunately the only way to advance in rank is to get a law degree.

    Which really does not help with policing at all. Because a small percentage of any law degree deals with criminal law and we already are trained extensively in criminal law. Even though some people take it in better than others.

    But training and degrees in the subject areas you mentioned would go much further to bettering the force over all and enabling to better serve the public.

    A law degree is so unnecessary for a police officer who wishes to remain a police officer.

    I’ll add to your list, profiling and organized crime Investigation.

  5. Robert Deschappé

    @ Sayed

    Thank you for your support. Do you not think that the Attorney General and the high command of the force should look at an overall improvement of the police force. Barbados is not immune to criminal acts that are occurring in other parts of the world, and it is better to be proactive rather than reactive, as is the case in Barbados. Systems should be implemented to counter any thing that may affect national security and the protection of our citizens.
    Countries such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand have implemented a code of conduct that deals the with the cautioning, questioning and arresting of suspects, as well as the procedures relating to their detention at a police station under the supervision of a custody officer. This officer records the condition of the suspect at the point of and during custody. The code also deals with the proper methods of handling evidence, the recording and video of statements from suspects.
    I am sure that if we start with the fundamentals of policing and proceed upwards, things will improve.

  6. WildyCoyte

    Barbados’ Police Force is corrupt to the core,if for one second you think that in a 166 sq mile island that the police don’t know who is involved in crime(including some of their own) and i mean the major players you are definitely asleep and should not be awakened from your slumber.Drugs a plenty especially cocaine from those indian looking boys will always get in,peoples hands will be greased and poor black boys will always be in jail,go figure.