By Latrishka Thomas
“I am dedicated to policing and to making Antigua and Barbuda the safest place, not only in the region but in the world,” proclaimed the country’s newly confirmed Commissioner of Police (COP).
Yesterday, Atlee Rodney was confirmed as Commissioner to the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB) and, following his appointment, the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Albert Wade, was confirmed as Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Rodney shared some of his plans for the force with media.
“I believe that the more equipped your men and women are, the better they can perform. So I’m a strong supporter of capacity building. We have started some courses and it is one of the areas I’m going to focus on,” he said.
In addition, he noted that, “infrastructure is lacking. We have situations where I’ve felt … that we are not even giving the best service to Antigua and Barbuda because of the conditions”.
Making reference to Bolans Police Station – which is currently operating from Johnson’s Point Police Station – the COP said there is “a vast area of the population that does not get that easy police access”.
Rodney, who enlisted in the force in 1982, added that he plans to serve the public “in a much better way”.
“You can arrest somebody still with a smile on your face, you know, so we want to improve on the customer service,” he stated.
Also, at the top of his priorities is increasing officers’ visibility.
“I want the community to see their police officers. I mean, we have several complaints that you’re not seen enough and we want to do that. And one of the ways we are working to do that is supervision. We are stressing that to the supervisors,” he said.
Further, Rodney disclosed that that mission has already begun through a new initiative instituted this year where middle management officers, sergeants and senior sergeants meet every last Wednesday of the month.
The COP added that there will be some internal changes to the organisation due to the vacancies that the recent confirmations have created. He said that “confirmations at the top will benefit those at the bottom also”.
The announcement of Rodney and Wade’s confirmation was made during a senior administrative meeting at Police Headquarters.
Commissioner Rodney met with members of the Police Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday, where he was served with his letter of appointment, effective November 25 2019.
Rodney, who has 38 years’ service within the organisation, acted in the position for almost two years.
Both Rodney and Wade expressed gratitude to the men and women of the RPFAB as well as to their families for their unwavering support over the years.