Newly appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police Erwin Boyce says young people are not attracted to the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) because the pay is not good enough.
Speaking to reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of an empowerment initiative for at-risk youth, Boyce said a survey of lawmen would reveal a desire for better pay.
“The salaries are not as attractive as we would want them to be,” he said, at a time when the constabulary continues to struggle to attract suitable young people who want to make law enforcement a career. At the same time he said there was more to being a police officer than money.
“When you want to be a police officer you have to have a passion for the job. You have to have a passion for customer service, you have to have a passion for dealing with the public . . . for delivering a service continuously and . . . to protect,” the senior police officer told the event held under the banner of the Prince’s Trust International at Accra Beach Resort.
In fact, Boyce warned prospective police recruits not to seek to join the Force to get rich because such a mentality could breed greed.
“As someone once said . . . if you come into the public service don’t come into the public service to get rich. You come in to give a service. So if you lack that enthusiasm, if you lack that service enthusiasm, you will always find that the wage will never be sufficient . . . .You will always be saying, ‘I want more, more, more,’” he argued.
When President of the Barbados Police Association (BPSA) Mervin Grace addressed the BPSA’s annual general meeting last November in the presence of Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith and then Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, he left no doubt that the law enforcers needed to be paid better for their service to the country.
Grace went even further and served notice on the authorities that this year, the association would no longer ask for a salary increase, but would demand one.
Yesterday, Boyce said the challenges the RBPF was experiencing in recruiting the “right” people to fill over 230 vacancies was having a significant impact on the operations of the Force.
And while Griffith had been bold last November in saying that the shortage of manpower, coupled with increasing workloads, sometimes resulted in a failure to produce case files in a timely manner, his deputy was adamant that “we are sufficiently creative and innovative that we are capable of delivering the service that we ought to deliver at the rate that we ought to deliver and definitely respond to the calls of people”.
”It is not impacting negatively at this point in time, our ability to respond to service calls,” Boyce said. (EJ)