The Royal Barbados Police Force’s longstanding recruiting difficulties appear to have eased.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite reported today that 32 Barbadians, 30 of them male, were expected to complete training at the Regional Police Training Centre in September, and that more were expected to follow suit.
He was especially happy that an increased number of young men had come forward to pursue policing careers, but said recruitment would likely be affected by repairs to the RPTC’s roof later this year.
The St. Philip South MP spoke on the issue this morning in the House of Assembly while leading off debate on the Police Complaints Authority (Validation) Bill.
“As I speak to you today, Sir, there are 32 Barbadians presently enrolled at the (Regional Police Training Centre). I believe that their programme should finish in September this year. Of the 32 Barbadians, 30 are males and I emphasise that because we have had a challenge as you know with respect to finding qualified young men, who are interested in policing as a career,” he said.
“There is gender bias because we have found that there is a need to have more young men. The reality is there is no shortage of young women who are interested in policing, but frankly there are some duties that young men are more willing to undertake than young women.
“It is just the reality of what happens on the ground and of course it is our responsibility to ensure that we have the right balance in the police force in terms of male and female,” he added.
Brathwaite said he was “very happy that we seem to making some inroads in terms of encouraging more of our young men in particular to come to the Royal Barbados Police Force”.
“I recognise that it is a dynamic institution, it is not just about the police officer you see walking the streets, there are many more skills that … have to be utilised… It’s a multifaceted and dynamic organisation and I want to commend those young people who are presently in training,” he stated.
Braitwaite said “several more young people” were “waiting to be called up for training”, but noted that “unfortunately I believe that come September … we may not be able to take any more recruits until early next year because it is our hope that we can do some work to the roof of the college”.
“…I think the roof presently is an asbestos roof and we know that we need to move away from that type of roofing. So my message is that I think that we have turned the corner in terms of finding more young people who are interested in policing,” he said. (SC)
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