When we exchanged emails in August, prior to him assuming the post of Commissioner of Police, I vividly recall telling him “while I am proud to see a Kittitian coming from overseas to lead the police force, I served under two overseas Commissioners in the past, and would much prefer to wait and see his performance.” Well, enough waiting, time to make my own assessment.
The little I have seen of CG’s command at the helm of the force in just over one month is commendable and worthy of praise. In fact, I cannot help but conclude that I am seeing a leader who not only talks the talk, but walks the talk.
Though a little astonished with his candour and assertiveness, CG in my view has a clear vision for the future of the police force. It is only a matter of time before this vision is fulfilled.
Leading from the front
What could be more inspiring than to see the leader in the trenches with his men? This reminds me of the days of conquest when the King or Emperor was the outrider, leading his army into battle. CG is wasting no time in doing just that, leading from the front.
Any major crime, surely, you will see CG. The recent shooting in Lodge and Camps Village is a clear demonstration of CG’s style of leading by example.
This is the hallmark of an effective leader. In fact, this is the leadership style used by Jesus, the greatest leader of all time, to motivate and inspire his disciples while on earth.
Gone are the days when the Commissioner of Police would lead from behind his desk. This hands-on approach amidst the challenges of fighting crime is much welcomed.
“I am no nonsense. I say exactly what I feel and I let the chips fall where they may. In other words, I tell the truth.”
Leaders who sugar coat the truth and call it diplomacy and tact are bound to lose their integrity. What I am seeing of CG is simple honesty, an individual who is not afraid of the truth. This attribute will go a long way in helping him to succeed.
Being truthful and sincere promotes trust among the rank and file and their willingness to follow the leader effectively.
With CG there is absolutely no room for “tell them what you want them to hear.” What you see is what you get!
Scientific approach to policing
In addition to CG’s diverse skill and expertise in critical areas of law enforcement, he also brings a scientific approach to policing in St. Kitts and Nevis. Professor Ramesh Deosaran (‘The Dynamics of Community Policing’, pp. 220 pp) defines the scientific approach as “sticking to well established rules, applying sound and reliable methods. Without a scientific approach, there will be no effective policing. The police organisation itself will become loose, and worse yet, corrupt and unaccountable.”
CG knows that a scientific approach to policing in St. Kitts and Nevis will ultimately stand the test of time. Thus, a scientific approach based on the implementation of clear criteria, credible supervision and measured performance will certainly yield major benefits for the police force.
Keen interest in the welfare of his men
Despite the debate on the second job issue, when one reads between the lines it is evident CG has a keen interest in the welfare of his men. He has hinted at the possibility of changes to this policy, which he is duty bound to enforce so long as it remains in effect.
“I have heard more about the discontent from reading the newspapers and on the internet than by my officers voicing their opinions. From day one I told the officers here in St. Kitts and those in Nevis that the Police Welfare Association is supposed to present these issues. If there is a regulation that needs to be changed then they need to contact the legislature and seek to have this regulation changed.”
The Police Welfare Association must now run with the ball and seek to create a mechanism within the force for managing second jobs. Forget the stand-off of 2006 – 2007 and press ahead for your own welfare under CG.
There can be no question that a proactive strategy towards fighting crime is the best strategy. This approach at the end of the day will cost the tax payers less to maintain the police force. Preventing and not reacting to crime must continue to be the motto of the police force, hence, the comments by CG,
“I pledge to you that I, with your support, will embark on a progressive and proactive approach to reducing crime and violence in the Federation.”
So far the results of this pledge have been:
- Meeting with gang leaders
- Training DELTA force
- Training in processing crime scenes
- Upgrading the Intelligence Unit
- Preparation for introduction of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design)
- Open door policy for members of the public to share intelligence on crime and other issues relevant to the development of the force
- Consoling victims of serious crimes
- Laying the ground work for a strong collaborative partnership against crime
- Quick response – thus catching the culprits in the area of the crime scene
- Strengthening inter-agency collaboration e.g with Defence Force and Customs
- Preparation to focus on all forms of violence, not just gang but violence against women etc
While CG may not hold all the answers for fighting crime in St. Kitts and Nevis, I reiterate my assessment of his performance “so far so good.” It is noteworthy that these achievements were achieved in the absence of any additional resources. Effective leadership is the name of the game.
In my opinion CG means well and given his effective performance record it is only a matter of time before a new culture starts emerging in the police force.
Let us all give our fullest support to CG in the interest of public safety and security in St. Kitts and Nevis.