Father’s Day Message by Commissioner of Police, Colin O. John
For Mother’s Day, I recognised the commitment, effort and work of the policewomen in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force. It would, therefore, be remiss of me not to reciprocate and do likewise to the fathers in this august organisation of ours. And as I address the fathers in the police force on this special day that is dedicated to recognising all of us, I want to stress on the issue of mentorship in the police force.
One of the greatest responsibilities of a father is to mentor his child/children and be good role model to them not only in the home but outside as well. I happen to know first hand that the police force is populated by some very exceptional fathers who have done an excellent job in raising their children.
So as we celebrate Father’s Day with rest of the world, I implore the officers who are fathers to choose a fellow police officer to mentor. Like in every organisation, there will be those who will deviate from the rules, regulations and norms — the police force is not an exception to that reality. There are, in fact, some policemen who have failed to live up to the standards of a police officer. Through this medium, I am calling on those officers who are fathers to see these intransigent officers as their sons and let them be your protégés.
A mentor is defined as an “experienced and trusted advisor”. The mentor’s role is to help the mentoree to find his/her own true self; to experience his/her own failures and successes and by so doing, to develop his/her own natural strengths and potential. Primarily, what a mentor does is to offer substantive and good advice to the mentoree.
When an individual is recruited into the organisation and takes the oath to become a police officer, he subsequently undergoes six months’ training in different subject areas to prepare him for the arduous task of upholding the oath and the maintenance of law and order in the state. At the completion of this training, it is the general belief by many that the officer would have been fully transformed from a civilian to a paramilitary personnel. This is not always the case. It must be noted that six months’ training at a Police Academy cannot negate a preceding 18 years of civilian life. In effect, it takes a much longer time than that to get a recruit to fully conform to the norms, ideals and objectives of the police force.
It is, therefore, evident that when a recruit leaves the training school, he would need a senior and experienced officer (a mentor) to further instil in him the core values and regulations of the organisation and how to effectively and efficiently carryout the duties of a police officer.
Clearly, one of the reasons why so many young officers commit breaches with respect to their functions is because of the absence of a good mentor to teach and guide them. As a consequence, I am proposing to implement the following initiatives in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force:
- Implement a formal mentoring system into the constabulary.
- Identify capable, mature and knowledgeable officers to act as mentors to recruits and other officers for a period of up to five years.
- Formulate training programmes for the mentors on an on-going basis.
Jim Valvano asserted, “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me”. This potent statement is very applicable today. Let us as fathers believe in our children and provide them with springboard from which to launch off into a successful and productive future. Happy Father’s Day!
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].