By Carlena Knight
Fifty police recruits will today start six months of basic training at the Sir Wright F George Academy.
They are the first recruits of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda since before the Covid pandemic. The last such training course took place from June to December 2019.
To officially launch the training, a brief ceremony was held on Monday at the academy on Friars Hills Road.
Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney was present at the event where he spoke specifically to the recruits about the importance of the role they now hold.
Rodney mentioned that the recruits of course number 48 “have been called to begin their journey at the most difficult of times”.
“This is not a job. This is a calling that has been placed upon you. A calling to provide service, care and safety to the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda. Your presence here is a testament that you have accepted the call to be part of this noble organisation,” Rodney said.
“So, as you accept this calling, let it always be a motivation that you ask yourselves even during difficult times ‘why am I here?’, and you are because you accepted that calling but to get through training, there will be difficulties, so endure hardship.
“Training will be difficult, days will be long, yet I encourage you to stay strong and persevere with every aspect of training and whenever your mind focuses on quitting, go back to the old days when you would watch movies like Rocky.
“The bell will ring and you don’t want to respond but my encouragement to you is to hang in there, stay strong and tell yourself quitting is not an option,” Rodney urged.
He also advised them to be a team player as there is “no room in the force or at the police academy for ego and selfish ambitions”.
Hi sentiments were echoed by Superintendent Louisa Quashie-Benjamin who is the Commandant at the police academy.
Quashie-Benjamin encouraged the recruits “to become assets to not only the organisation but to Antigua and Barbuda”.
Deputy Police Commissioner Albert Wade also spoke at the event and charged the recruits to stay true and committed to the oath they made a few months earlier.
He also advised them to become versed in the protocols and standards of the police force and to apply common sense and good judgement to their training and work life, and disregard bad habits.