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Police promotions to be made on merit, not tenure

By Latrishka Thomas

Latrishka.thomas@antiguaobserver.com

The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda will be moving towards becoming a meritocracy.

This was revealed by Minister of Public Safety Steadroy Benjamin who said that the constabulary will be promoting its members on merit rather than seniority or tenure.

“Promotions in the force will be based, henceforth, on competence and efficiency and not necessarily long service. That was the situation back then, we are now moving forward.

“We shall put things in place so that once you are competent, once you understand policing, once you’re a good police officer you will be rewarded on your competence, integrity, displaying proper policing skills and being able to apprehend criminals when they commit crimes,” Benjamin said at the ceremony on Thursday where officers were recognised for their service.

In the past, promotions in the force were conducted mainly based on seniority. Persons who are promoted due to seniority have been at the company longer than any other candidates.

On the other hand, performance-based promotions mean that officers who have been performing extremely well, but have been with the force for a short time, could be promoted over an employee who has been performing adequately but has been with the company for years.

Benjamin said he also wants to see a celebration of officers who are retiring from the force reintroduced.

He said that he was informed that “there was a time when persons are retiring that we would have a retirement ceremony for those persons who are leaving the force”.

“Let us give that back to the police. Let us show them our appreciation for the work they have done,” he added.

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