Categorized | National News

PSA Says Officers Well-Being Must Be A Top Priority

Police Staff Association (PSA) Executive Chairman Dwight Smith said yesterday that police officers are not complaining about the new 12-hour shift the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) has implemented, however he noted that they are concerned about how the new shifts are being structured.

Inspector Smith said since the new shift system was announced he has received several calls from spouses and other relatives of the police officers expressing concern about how the new shifts will impact their families.

“Many families are concerned that fathers will be removed from the home,” he said. “Our officers are human beings with families and their families have concerns for their loved ones. We all understand what happens to a home when there is no father in the home, so you can understand why the officers and their families would have some concerns.”

Mr. Smith has said he believes the association should have been advised of the new shift system so that they could have given advanced notice to the officers to make the necessary preparations.

Additionally, he reminded that although the PSA is not a union, it does represent the officers of the RBPF, and any suggestions otherwise would be setting a bad precedent.

“It seems that there are some who forget that we are people too,” Mr. Smith said. “All the other unions voice their concerns and it is understood. Just the other day, the teachers expressed their concerns and everybody understood, but as soon as the police say ouch, the question becomes why are you saying ouch.

“We hurt too just like everybody else and all we are saying is we don’t have a problem working 12-hours as long as the proper provisions are made.”

The new shift system is a part of the new crime strategy introduced in the wake of a spate of recent murders.

A similar shift system was put in place in 1998 following a rise in gang violence.

At the time, then Senator Fred Mitchell criticised the plan noting the strain it placed on families.

“The 12-hour shift takes men away from their families,” Mr. Mitchell wrote. “Many of the children of police officers are ending up in trouble because their fathers are not around the home. Further, the 12-hour shift causes fatigue, mistakes, more police brutality as people try to cope with fatigue and pressure. It is simply old fashioned policing which is counter-productive.”

Mr. Smith said that as the 12-hour shift is introduced a wellness plan should also be put in place.

He said the well-being and safety of the officers must be given top priority if they are expected to be effective in carrying out their duties.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook