Head of the Traffic Branch of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, Superintendent of Police Kenneth John is retiring from law enforcement after a 40-year career.
He was recognised last Friday as the Traffic Department held its award ceremony at Police Headquarters, in Kingstown.
“I can’t tell when last water settled in my eyes. But Traffic Department means a lot to me,” John said after receiving his award.
“And sometimes, when I see certain things happen, I normally call those persons in authority,” he said, adding that he still listens to the department’s radio programme and will give off-air feedback to the officers.
“I want to thank everyone at Traffic for the hard work they’re doing,” John said, adding that traffic officers always work hard.
“One of the things I instilled before I left, I normally print the Traffic Act, the regulations, and tell everyone to read because these days, education is the key. And sometimes, especially when you are in a position, when the commissioner calls or someone calls to ask you something about traffic, you can’t say, ‘Sir, I am going to come back.’ You have to answer from there.”
John told the event that he has a copy of the traffic regulations “in my brain”.
He told Commissioner of Police, Colin John that he enjoyed working with him.
“Traffic men, I enjoyed working with all of you,” John further said.
He further paid tribute to his wife, Marsha, who was present, for his attire for which his officers praised him.
“My beautiful wife, I tell her she is my strength. She ensured that I always turn on neat and clean. Because when she comes into town, she will come and look at me, ‘What is on your shirt there?’ and I have to give account. Thank you very much, Marsha. You are a very good wife,” John said.
Constable 1044 Jackson read the following citation before John was presented with the award:
Superintendent John enlisted in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force on March 14 1983.
He worked at several departments in the police force, such as Special Service Unit, Honour Guard, PM Detail and Traffic Department, where he spent more than 32 years.
In the early stages of his job, his goal was to be at the forefront and working at the Traffic Department was considered to be the face of the police organisation. He would often say, ‘If I am to be a police officer again, I would want to work at the Traffic Department.’
During his tenure as a motorcyclist, which was the beginning of great things for Superintendent John, he escorted many events across the country and most of all became the outrider for the Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves. He was the only motorcyclist doing this but was always on time from sunrise to sunset.
In July 2009, he was promoted from sergeant to inspector of police because of his leadership qualities, which led him to the helm of the Traffic Department. Having been promoted to assistant superintendent of police in 2009 then superintendent of police in 2012, Superintendent John continued to display his leadership skills, which led him to being awarded by the department for his outstanding leadership in 2014.
SOP John had a clear and focused vision and ensured that the department had its own vision and mission statements, which can be seen on entering the department. He also spearheaded the police force award ceremony in 2012 to motivate, recognise and reward persons under his command for their hard work. Some of the photos can be seen at the front.
He is fair, forthright, exhibits humility and is always willing to empower others and see those under him succeed. He would always say, ‘Learn to call a spade a spade.’ He further ensured persons attached to the department were properly trained and had the essential knowledge of the job by providing them with the necessary resources to carry out their duties effectively. Superintendent John was always willing to share his experience, his wealth of knowledge and encourage those under him to read and empower themselves. He would say, ‘Set high standards’ and constantly reminded his staff to always be professional. ‘Treat everyone with respect, maintain those standards and do not give a pail of milk and then kick it off.’
Superintendent John, driven to lead by example, used his experience and showed regardless of his rank. On mornings, between 6 and 6:30, he would regulate the traffic in Arnos Vale and various points in Kingstown. He would say, “Calling traffic is an art that you have to develop.’
He cared not only for his job, but also for his staff. His focus was on relationship-building and gave a lot of credit for his success to his beautiful wife, Marsha John, who he always mentioned is responsible for his deportment and ensuring he was always shining and spotless. Superintendent John was not just a leader but, as we all know, he’s a husband, a brother, a father, grandfather, uncle not just to his relatives but also to those under his command. He took care of his staff as his own children and for those with children, he treated them just like his own and always ensured that our families and children are okay. That was something very important to him.
Once he was informed that one of his staff members’ children was sick, he would ensure that the officer was given sufficient time to look after their family. He would say, ‘You can’t perform and function if your children are not well’ and even assisted every way. As a role model and mentor, we at the traffic department refer to him as ‘Senior SOP’ or ‘traffic engineer’ in his own right.
Tonight, we honour and recognise Superintendent Kenneth John for his 40 years of commitment and dedication to the Traffic Department of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.
I thank you
The traffic branch has gone from one incompetent hand to another. All the best on your retirement though.
Thank you for your service Sir. Job well done!
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