Can Williams police the police?
"Local is better" for foreigners. The issue is not one of "local is better" because prior to Dwayne Gibbs and Jack Ewatski we have had only local commissioners, but one of effective leadership at all levels. Being in a position of authority does not automatically imply co-operation from those being led who must grant such a privilege, which can only be earned through visibility, active listening, honesty, collaboration, humility, openness and hard work.
A proper motivating and performing environment has to first be created for the Police Service to be effective in tackling crime. The Acting Commissioner Stephen Williams must seek greater collaboration with the Police Welfare Association, the Minister of National Security and the Police Service Commission to review and implement better performance appraisal system for the policemen, so that the required training, development and performance expectations are addressed. Aligned with this must be the review and implementation of better compensation systems for them, to diminish the temptation to earn additional income via convoluted routes.
The Minister of National Security has mentioned some very laudable objectives regarding the working environment and the Commissioner of Police must progress these initiatives such as better police stations, working vehicles, security cameras, use of technology and greater police visibility.
He must visit every police station at least once per month and have discussions with all staff there to get and provide feedback. His role in fighting crime is strategic rather than operational. He must be seen walking the streets with his lower-ranked officers so they can develop a greater pride in their role and be motivated to excel at their duties.
Policemen have been so beaten upon that they may have lost motivation and this is the primary role of the commissioner who must rekindle the fires of pride in them, otherwise no amount of money, technology, jails, courts or threats can effectively address crime if the people's issues are not addressed.
The Acting CoP must disengage himself from the trappings of office and meet his people at their level to engender servant leadership, which is very rare in our leaders. Enthusiasm, pride and the feeling of belonging, which need to be continually reinforced, are needed to have an effective police service. Time for talk is long gone. Leading from the front is required.