‘Home drum’ beats first
Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite says he’s not convinced that the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) can’t fill its vacancies locally.
His message to Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin is to keep looking at home before requesting manpower from abroad. Brathwaite had a meeting with the police’s high command on Wednesday and the issue of a shortage of manpower was among the topics discussed.
“. . . What I said then to the commissioner is that I would want him to exhaust all possibilities [for recruiting] in Barbados,” Brathwaite said during a Press briefing at Government Headquarters in Bay Street, St Michael.
“So I’ve urged him to go back into the schools and go back to the public of Barbados again and offer policing not just as the police officer you see walking up and down the beat, but the significant other opportunities within the police force for growth.”
He referred to jobs in forensics, information technology (IT), management and investigation as areas that should be able to attract young Barbadians.
He said the problem was finding suitably qualified males, as it did not appear that applications from young women were an issue.
He suggested the police “strenuously” go after young Barbadians and try to persuade them that it is “an attractive place” to work.
He admitted that Government may have to “find new ways of enticing them into the force”, including the offer of housing and other deals.
After the RBPF had stepped up its recruitment drive “and I am satisfied that we have exhausted that, then we can look at the possibility of going outside of Barbados”, Brathwaite said.
The RBPF now employs more than 1 500 people. Dottin says there are vacancies, but some young people shy away from the force while a number who come forward are deemed not suitable.