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Report on MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT
PROGRAMME FOR SENIOR OFFICERS OF THE ROYAL ST.LUCIA POLICE
FORCE

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MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR SENIOR OFFICERS OF THE ROYAL ST.LUCIA POLICE FORCE

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:

a) A lack of clear vision or set of values to define the direction and the management style of the RSLPF, inconsistent management practices and the absence of business planning or annual reports;
b) An absence of environmental scanning to identify the strategic thrusts and operating targets for the RSLPF;
c) Inadequate training in some aspects of policing;
d) Stagnation caused by lack of management attention over the years;
e) Low morale caused by poor personnel management;
f) Outdated working practices among the RSLPF’s support services that inhibited their contribution to overall performance.
g) Poor management information systems which make effective allocation of either financial or manpower resources to where they are most needed, difficult;
h) The absence of a performance measurement system, and therefore no accurate picture of performance;
i) The poor public image was fuelled by allegations of corruption, brutality, arrogance, and inadequate performance.

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.


Programme Objectives

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:

• Conduct an environmental scan for the trends likely to impact the RSLPF and develop appropriate strategic thrusts and targets to respond to those trends;
• Employ Change Management methodologies to facilitate the reform initiative and to develop a performance culture in the RSLPF;
• Use Human Resource Management tools and techniques to create an environment in which officers of all rank are motivated to optimise levels of efficiency, to achieve strategic targets and improve the image of the RSLPF;
• Develop and implement a Performance Management System that aligns divisional and individual performance to strategic objectives, and employs an appraisal process that emphasises employee development as a means of building the required competence to achieve targets;
• Conduct training needs assessments, and use tools and techniques to develop training plans that are aligned to the strategic objectives of the RSLPF;
• Develop and use tools to facilitate the efficient and most effective use of available resources;
• Develop systems to facilitate the effective collection and use of data for effective managerial decision making;
• Implement a Communications Policy and Programme to assist in improving the image of the RSLPF.


Structure of the Programme

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.

Module
Duration
(Contact Hrs)
Facilitator
Phase One: Leadership and Strategy Implementation
   
Leadership Skills
32
Mr. Curt Wellington
Strategy Formulation
40
Mr. Curt Wellington
Designing and Implementing Change
40
Dr. Manfred Jantzen
Phase Two: Human Relations &Communications Skills
 
Communications and Assertiveness Skills
32
Ms. Hulsie Bhaggan
Managing Interpersonal Relationships
40
Ms. Wynette Harewood
Phase Three: Technical Skills
Decision Making and Problem Solving
40
Mr. Leo Pujadas
Managing Information Systems
40
Florette De Leon
Resource Management
40
Auriola Daniel-Moore
Strategic Human Resource Planning and Management
40
Mrs. Nan Gosine-Ramgoolam
Managing People for Performance
40
Mr. Curt Wellington

 

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.

Findings and Recommendations
The nature of the programme allowed our facilitators to design and deliver the modules in the context of issues facing the Royal St Lucia Police Force. As a result, the officers were continuously challenged to identify and develop solutions for some of these critical issues and to consider the implications for the reform process.

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.


Designing and Implementing Change

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.

1.Police Service Direction
• Leadership, Vision, Mission, Goals and Strategies
• Strategic planning with a clear future focus for the police service.
• To develop clear strategic goals/objectives for the police with actionable implementation.
•To establish a community-based policing programme in partnership with all communities to ensure an improved service.
• To increase our professional standards in complaint investigation, communications and internal interviews.
• To establish an effective HR system to ensure motivated & well trained staff.
• To implement a crime prevention and reduction strategy to improve detection rates and reduce crime.
• To establish an effective traffic strategy to reduce accidents and improve road safety.
• Develop organizational performance standards (benchmarking Global performance).
• Need for leadership development and succession planning.
• Transform the current police force into a genuine real community driven police service – this will require a serious longer term intervention .
• Develop an outsourcing guideline and develop action plans.

2. Operational Activities
Functions & structures, Performance processes, Competencies & skills
• Develop human capital – competency and skill at all levels but aligned with the future needs of the new police service.
• To develop, implement and maintain an automated information system to facilitate the effective flow of information to all stakeholders on a timely basis.
• Develop unit performance standards aligned with the organizational goals.
• Must develop SOPs and clarify existing ones (necessary for improving transparency, efficiency and even communication, not to mention more professional behaviour).
• Focus on key core process, improvement and reengineering (e.g. incident reporting in crime, traffic and general assistance etc. )
• Develop individual performance standards.
3. Organization’s Image
Employees Organizational Identity; external stakeholders perception of performance (market)
• Develop and implement regular customer surveys.
• Address the motivational and moral problems through better and clearer performance expectations, standards, transparency, communication at all levels, inclusivity, team work, etc.
• Establish a Website.
• Become more visible in the various stakeholder communities.
• Education of the public on community policing.
4. Organization’s Environment
Managing Stakeholder Relations, Systematic Intelligence Scanning
• Clear need for systematic intelligence scanning focusing on key stakeholders, and the regional and global environment.
• Managing key stakeholder relations is critical to the development of the new police service – key relations must be systematically managed, must be designated individuals.
• Review existing legislation to keep abreast with criminal patterns and trends etc.
5. Organization’s Behaviour
Management mindset, work culture, enterprise wide and deep performance
• Training and development, education must be viewed as absolutely critical investments for the future success of the Police Service.
• The culture of the current police, must be transformed into a community driven police service.
• Develop and implement for senior managers, individual performance contracts.


PRACTICUM
The participants were required to develop and submit a practicum assignment, based on the identification and implementation of some aspects of change that was aligned to the transformation process.

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.


CERTIFICATION
Upon conclusion of the programme, all officers were issued certificates of participation.

Submitted,


Curt P. Wellington
Consultant
November 18, 2005

 

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