The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) Passing Out Parade for training course number 42 was held at the Police Training Camp in Point Salines last Thursday, and for the first time a female has walked away with the Baton of Honor, the course’s highest award.
Meritorious, her performance, highest aggregate, academically inclined, best at physical training, exemplary demeanor and exceptional leadership qualities were some of the phrases used to describe Woman Police Constable # 3 Anika Charles, as she approached the podium with confident strides, as the first Woman Police Officer to be awarded, the Baton of Honor Award. Presenting the award to her was Guest of Honor at the ceremony and Chairman of the Grenada Public Service Commission Derick Sylvester.
In a brief citation preceding the presentation of the award, Officer Charles was described as one who showed consistency in the realization of the objective of the training, a role model to her colleagues who performed with distinction thus winning the most sought after award for anyone entering the Police Training School.
Other officers awarded during last Thursday’s graduation ceremony were Officer #290 Wesley Williams for best drill, Officer # 201, Odison Fraser, Best at Physical Training and Self Defense, Officer # 569 Asran Williams for Best at Pistol Shot, Officer # 273 Leron Andrew for best Turned out, WPC #106 Judy Moses, Best in Self Defense among the females, and WPC # 13 Chris Anne James for Best at First Aid.
A total of forty-eight officers, among them twenty females, the highest number of female officers ever graduated from any one training class, were graduated last Thursday bringing an end to course number 42 after six months of intense training.
Commandant of the Police Training School Assistant Superintendent of Police Gregory Mathurine, in addressing the gathering that included senior members of the RGPF among them; Acting Commissioner of Police Winston James, Government officials, diplomats and relatives of the grandaunts, described the course as a resounding success.
The senior ranked police officer said apart from its success, the course, was historic in many ways. He said Course 42 had the longest period of vetting prior to the intake of trainees, the highest percentage of women in any course and additionally it the first time the Regional Police Training Manual was used at the training school.
Mathurine said the new recruits were given basic theoretical and practical police training, that included among other things administrative training, personal development, legal training, defense, pistol training, operational skills, traffic and road safety, crime and criminal activities among others.
Acting Police Commissioner Winston James also addressed the gathering and complimented all who played a role in the success of Course 42. He welcomed the latest group of recruits to the GRPF and challenged them to go out and make Grenada proud while keeping the image of the force in esteem.
The highlight of the evening’s function was however a rousing address by Derick Sylvester, wherein he called upon the recruits to be mindful of the role and responsibility that is now entrusted on them as members of the RGPF. He reminded them that the entire nation depends on them and therefore they should do all in their powers to avoid falling short of their expectations.
Attorney-at-Law by profession, Sylvester reminded the recruits that having been selected as the best of the best, let it be said at the end of their service with the RGPF, it was one of high repute, having left behind positive marks in the sands of time and on the hearts and minds of fellow officers, the society and the state. “As of today,” he told them “it cannot be business as usual.” Demeanor, attitude, manner of dress, deportment and manner of conduct he said, must be commensurate of an upholder of law, order and discipline.
Sylvester reminded the graduates that others would look them upon for guidance and therefore they should live up to that expectation, and act within the ambit of the law, failing which there would be consequences. The new recruits were told that their role is to ensure the maintenance of law and order, to act within the confines of the law and make sure they are acquainted with those laws.
“ To whom much is given,” he said, “much more is expected.” “Avoid the abuse and misuse of power, be fair but fearless, exercise your power with restraints, and use force only when necessary with perfect command of temper.”
The officers were warned to avoid falling victims to the law, since no one is above the law, but to be valiant even in the face of adversity.