Congratulations to the Police…

first_imgDear Editor,With much pleasure, I read in the print media that 21 members of the Guyana Police Force, ranging from the rank of constable to that of deputy superintendent, recently successfully completed a three-month training course in leadership.According to the media, the course was sponsored by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. Ms. Alexandra King, Political and Economic Chief at the United States of America Embassy in Guyana; David Ramnarine, Commissioner of Police (ag); and Khemraj Ramjattan, Minister of Public Security, addressed the graduants at the graduation.They all raised some apposite issues and concerns. The reports stated that Ms. Alexandra King called on the participants to share with their colleagues what they have learnt in the last three months, in an effort to bring positive change among them.The acting Top Cop cautioned the ranks to put what they have been taught into good use, and to use the knowledge and skills for the good, as the Force is increasingly under the microscope.The Honourable Minister urged the ranks not to be vessels to be filled, but rather be lamps to be lit and shine. He posited that he had many times noticed that nice programmes come, and that when the players leave, the passion and so on die. He yearned for people who would ensure that it flows from there.Training in the Guyana Police Force is a sine qua non. It is the lifeblood of the organisation. It is the main root of development in the GPF. Other sectors, even though very important, are but the branches of the tree. Cut the main root, and the tree dies.The Police have boasted, and quite rightly so, of exposing hundreds of their ranks to training conducted by the Police themselves; at the University of Guyana and other institutions of learning; done locally by overseas facilitators from the ABC and other countries, as was the case with the just concluded leadership training under review; and training overseas.These training inputs, although commendable, invite many unanswered questions: How do the Police identify training needs? Does the training satisfy the needs of the GPF? Are there benefits for the individual officers? Are there benefits for the supervisors/managers? Are there benefits for the department, the community they serve, and the country as a whole?Or is it that history will record that an innumerable number of Police ranks were exposed to some kind of training and nothing else happened?According to Alice in Wonderland, if you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there. Sometime ago, I wrote that the ideal thing for the Police to do is to conduct a Job Task Analysis countrywide, to identify training needs as those relate to a vastly changing and dynamic environment they are now required to serve and protect.The process is a time consuming and expensive exercise, but it is indispensable. However, in the interim, there are other areas by which the Police can be guided to identify training needs. Space does not allow me to go into greater detail, but I had outlined several areas in an article in the last edition of the Guyana Review.In addition, there must be a fit and proper system in place to evaluate the effectiveness and benefits of the Police training. It is imperative that the training activities be evaluated.Bumgarner (2001) suggests, “In doing full-fledged training evaluation, favourable evaluation results can be used to demonstrate the usefulness of training and the appropriateness of expending training dollars.”The Kirkpatrick Model of training evaluation can be very instructive. It has four levels: reaction, learning, behaviour and results. The reaction level focuses on the participants’ perception of the training. This is the most common type of evaluation.The learning level focuses on the knowledge or skills required, ideally through a pre- and post- test.The behaviour level looks at whether or not the knowledge or skills are actually applied to the job by observing the participants use what was learnt.The results’ level focuses on the department’s return on investment, or cost benefit analysis. For example, cost savings, increase in work output or quality.Bumgarner recommends, “For criminal justice managers to know that the organisation has truly benefited through the training of its employees, all four levels should be examined.”Yours faithfully,Clinton ConwayAssistant Commissioner of Police(Retired)last_img