Welcome to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force Website
on MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT
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View photos of the Management Program here
Consequent upon its election to the office in 1997, the Government of St. Lucia commissioned a review of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), with a view to developing strategies for improving the public image of the RSLPF through the reduction of crime and the fear of crime, and for introducing and developing the concept of community policing.
The review was undertaken during the period August 9th 1998, and September 3rd 1998, by a team of United Kingdom based consultants working in collaboration with two senior members of the RSLPF.
The team found that the RSLPF’s poor performance was fuelled by a number of factors. Among these were:
Out of an abundance of concern for the impact that the poor performance of the RSLPF continued to have on public confidence, and the likely impact that negative publicity on crime would have had on the vital tourism industry, the Government of St Lucia, through its Ministry of Justice, contracted the UWI/Institute of Business to design and deliver a Management Development Programme for senior officers of the Police Force.
The general objective of the intervention will be:
“to facilitate the successful implementation of the transformation process in the Royal St Lucia Police Force, through the development and implementation of cutting-edge managerial skills and technique, among its senior officers and supervisory ranks.”
By the end of the intervention, it was expected that participants would have been able to achieve the following:
The programme was conducted in three phases over a period of ten (10) months, commencing November, 2002. The following table outlines the phases, the modules conducted in each phase, and the names of the facilitators who delivered the respective modules.
Each phase commenced with a workshop that provided a practical orientation to the development of critical leadership and managerial skills.
These workshops were non-examinable.
At the end of all other modules, however, participants
were required to undertake mini-projects that facilitated an assessment
of their internalization and use of the concepts delivered.
Our facilitators were able to capture these contributions as well as make their own recommendations based on the level of discussion and classroom interaction.
The following, presents the facilitators’ findings and recommendations for the “Strategy Formulation” and “Designing and Implementing Change” modules.
Leadership Skills and Strategy Formulation
• Although the reform process is underway and an implementation team established, a clear vision of what is likely to be achieved has not been articulated even to all members of the senior management team. As a result, buy-in is not as widespread as it should be, and some officers are yet to begin facilitating this implementation.
• There was a view articulated, and evidently widely shared, that the leader was appointed and that it was the responsibility of everyone else to follow that leader, and that when that leader demitted office, another leader would be appointed. This view tends to absolve all but the designated leader from the responsibilities of leadership.
• A practical example of the dysfunctional nature of this perception of leadership was given when an Assistant Commissioner related how several levels of officers would consistently re-direct correspondence for a senior officer’s decision, without making any recommendations of their own.
• Because officers are not trained in matters of industrial relations, their decisions on disciplinary matters often reflect their personal biases rather than the principles of natural justice required in such matters.
• The environment has naturally spawned a new breed of officers who are eager for advancement. This is apparently being frowned upon by some officers who view these ambitions as a sign of impatience, and conclude that “they are not prepared to await their turn.”
• In the early nineties, there was a programme to “fast track” officers with potential, to leadership positions. This programme has long been suspended and there has been no initiative to replace it.
• With the retirement age set at 55 years, there is constant movement of senior officers with little time to create stability in the direction and operations of the Force. Over the past twenty-three years, the RSLPF has had seven Commissioners of Police. The current Commissioner is scheduled to retire in 2003.
• The para-military nature and system of rank in the RSLPF, do not readily lend itself to the concept of leadership, in which members of all rank can contribute to the direction and decision making process. The “command and control” model has been dominant, and while participants admit increasing difficulty in holding fast to this model, the “privileges of rank” appear to influence its continued dominance.
• The St Lucian economy is currently in a state of decline and there has been an attendant rise in criminal activity. The RSLPF, as a result, does not currently enjoy the highest of popularity ratings among the population. To address this, the RSLPF has launched an interactive radio programme, “Police Vibes,” on one of the local radio stations, and recently hosted “Police Week” in which there were activities and programmes geared to provide the national community with a deeper insight into the positive aspects of the Force.
• A strong “Results Culture” is not very evident. Seniors are not held accountable for achievement of targets projected.
KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS (BASED
ON PROJECT PRESENTATION, SELF TEST AND DISCUSSION)
Clearly there are many things that are ‘good’ and ‘right’ with the current police force. There is tremendous ‘goodwill’, a positive attitude toward the society and a genuine desire to learn and improve the current police service. But to develop a 21st century police service that is customer driven and aligned with the changing dynamics of our local, regional and global environment, requires major change. The police service is no exception. It must reframe its direction, restructure its organization, revitalize its operations and renew its people. It must transform itself into a ‘community driven’ proactive police service.
The first step is a ‘performance diagnostics’ of the current state of the Police. It points to the ‘negatives’, the illness of the organization that needs to be addressed. The second step, the key recommendations are suggestions that could improve the performance considerably and send it on the journey to become a community driven police service.
As part of the support structure for the implementation process, the UWI-Institute of Business (now the ALJ Graduate School of Business) assigned Mr. Curt Wellington as consultant to all participants, to ensure alignment of their plans, and support for their initiatives. The consultant was available to monitor and guide participants through the implementation process and facilitate the realisation of tangible outcomes from the intervention.
It was expected that participants would have demonstrated the ability to use structured approaches to analyse and recommend solutions to the many challenges facing the RSLPF and to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills in their approaches to implementation.
During two visits to St Lucia, the consultant arranged to meet with the participants at the Training School to discuss their progress in the projects and to provide feedback. Electronic mail was also relied upon as a readily available means of communication and for those unable to utilize these means, arrangements were made for submission and feedback through the office of Corporal (now Sergeant) Ferdinand.
There was also a number of truly excellent presentations that definitely reflected the critical thinking skills required of senior administrators.