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Supervision under the Spotlight

By Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)
George Modeste


One of the critical areas which affect the functionality of the organization is the question of supervision.

The specific component of the job as it pertains to middle management has a serious effect on the general performance of the organization in such areas as:

o Delivering quality service
o Appropriate response and
o Consistency in performance.

As a result of the above, the organization’s image is, at most times, questionable, and under scrutiny. Therefore I view supervision to be a key factor for the organization.

It is prudent therefore, that supervisors use as their guide, The Standard Operating Procedures Handbook in the leadership of junior staff, thus facilitating corporate-wide standards in supervision.

Ineffective supervision within all ranks of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force has caused some members of the public to become concerned about the quality of policing.

Problem Areas Identified:

o Insufficient direction/guidelines provided to junior staff
o Response to complaints from members of the public untimely
o Investigators do not promote an attitude of ‘Public Service’
o Files are not being opened on investigations which require follow-up
o Exhibits are not being properly identified, recorded, secured and monitored
o Investigations are incomplete and lack sufficient documentation on file to provide a meaningful assessment of the completeness of the investigation
o Lack of feedback from the police once a complaint has been lodged.

Other Areas of Concern:

o The need for standard operating procedures for every operational activity to be developed
o Supervisors to ensure junior staff comply with policy and law during investigations
o Training to be developed and provided to address shortcomings identified at each rank level
o Questions raised by members of the public about adequate police service.

Mission Statement:

Improve supervision at all rank levels to enhance the quality of police services and assist in the development of junior staff.

Outcome Performance Indicators:

o Fewer complaints of poor police services and poor police attitude from the public?
o Fewer problems in court as the file-notes would have been better prepared through improved supervision
o Less corrective action necessary at each rank level as junior staff will gain more knowledge through positive mentoring and supervision
o Morale of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force will be raised as relationships with the public would have improved.

Strategies and Solutions:

o A filing, indexing and record-monitoring system be established
o Investigation file be opened in every complaint received
o Every investigation be assigned to an investigator with a ‘due date’ for return to the supervisor
o Supervisors must be accountable for the files assigned to investigators and monitor the progress of each complaint by providing direction, advice and guidance
o File entries must be made on the file to show that a supervisor is monitoring the investigations.



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