Fifty-one police officers, mostly of senior rank, from the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda were on Wednesday, publicly acknowledged for their years of commitment and dedication to the force.
The officers were presented with medals of long service and good conduct during a ceremony held at Government House. The awards were made following a recommendation that Acting Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney and other members of the constabulary made to Governor General Sir Rodney Williams.
Most of the officers who were singled out from among their peers have dedicated over 30 years to the police force.
Speaking during the ceremony, the acting police chief encouraged the awardees to accept the accolades, not only as an achievement, but as a form of motivation which will demonstrate to others their consistency and discipline towards the job.
“Be an example to others that you are responsible to lead. Looking at the awardees today, you all hold supervisory ranks, most of you here are in senior positions and have a responsibility to mould others behind you,”
“Because you are in middle management you also have a role to support those who are ahead of you. I ask you to take that responsibility seriously,” the acting commissioner said.
Sir Rodney also encouraged the officers to continue to plan carefully and act wisely as they pursue excellence on and off duty.
Meanwhile, a few of the officers, who were publicly awarded for their outstanding service to the force, were elated to be recognised.
Inspector Frankie Thomas, who once headed the Strategic Communications Department along with several other units in the police force, said that this is just the beginning for him.
“From here, this is a motivation to continue working diligently, knowing that you have given the quality service to the organisation and the nation of Antigua and Barbuda which deserves it,” Thomas said.
Senior Sergeant Judith George of the Langford Police Station was thankful and emotional at the same time.
“I thank God for my achievement to the Royal Police Force of Antigua and I am so sad that my mother was not here to see this, she is deceased. But I thank God for the way she raised her children,” the officer said while trying to hold back tears.
Inspector Lester Bagot, who has served for more than 20 years, explained that he is thankful to his family for the support throughout the years while he serves the nation.
“They have been a source of inspiration and support to me over the years that I have been there executing my duties as a police officer,” the police inspector said.