Basseterre-St. Kitts – The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force’s drive to source potential new recruits to the force was on full display last Friday with a downtown career fair. Dozens of police officers from the various departments descended on Bank Street to showcase to the public career opportunities the force had to offer.
In an exclusive interview with the Observer, Force Personnel Officer Clifford Govia stated the police force conducted the event as part of their effort to go on a major recruitment drive. “We are saying that we believe that youngsters between the ages 18-35 are encourage[ed] to really start to make a difference to their country and we are asking them to serve.”
He further noted that many individuals in the public were unaware of the many opportunities available in the police force and wanted to showcase what is on offer for potential recruits.
“Many of them are not aware of the many opportunities that exist in the police force,” he said. “The police force is no longer walking down town, but the police force is an area where you can use your business skills. We are talking about a lot of crimes being computer oriented and we are saying that you can use those skills. If you are into sciences, we have the forensic department, where you don’t necessarily have to be a doctor, but you can come and use your expertise.
“There are other areas such as the telecoms department and CCTV. We just want to show young people that the police force is a viable option.”
Govia also indicated that there are also educational opportunities in being a police officer.
“If you also want an educational perspective, you can come because we have a relationship with Monroe University, where you can continue you education while you serve.”
He also highlighted other benefits of being part of the police force. “There are also many benefits people are not aware of, such as 90 percent medical [benefits], gratuity after 10 years [and] a very competitive starting salary.”
Govia then spoke to the importance these new recruits will play in the effective deliverance of national security: “We are trying to recruit as many as 50 new [people] to the police organization. We have to realize that the country has expanded and so we have to also change and provide the appropriate amount of man power. This an initiative to ensure that every community has the requisite amount of police in that particular area and make a big difference in the life of our communities.”
Asked if human resources was an issue faced by the police, Govia indicated that it is not necessarily a problem, but it is recognized that the country has and is expanding, so they are looking at an additional 50 officers to bring on.
“We have an adequate amount right now in terms of the established amount, but we need an additional 50 officers,” he said. “That is what is a priority.”
He was also asked what has been the response thus far to the other recruitment drives held recently.
“We have gone through social media and the response is very positive so far,” he said.
During Friday’s event, officers from various departments showcased to the public various daily tasks each department may encounter, as well as that of use of a drone, which is expected to have regular use in the near future.