On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, eighteen (18) Police Officers successfully graduated from the Crime Scene Search, Recovery, and Classification of Fingerprint Evidence Training Course at the Old Montrose Police Training School.
The training course began on Monday, September 13, 2021, and was coordinated by Station Sergeant of Police, Mr. Brian Archibald, Head of the Criminal Records Office (CRO) in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF). The course instructors were fingerprint experts, Mr. Franklyn Williams, Retired Inspector of Police, and Mr. O’Neil Henry, Retired Sergeant of Police.
According to Station Sergeant Archibald, the course was very successful and achieved a one hundred percent pass rate. He recalled feeling re-energized and a sense of excitement about what it meant to be a police officer when the Commissioner of Police approved the training.
The Station Sergeant noted that the training course aimed to better prepare officers throughout the RSVGPF to become Crime Scene Officers in search and recovery of fingerprints on crime scenes. The core topics that were covered were:
· Health and Safety
· Laws relating to Fingerprints
· History of Fingerprints
· Fingerprint System
· The Theory of Powdering
· Lifting, Continuity, and Security
· Fingerprint Photography
· Fingerprint Cadavers
· Chemical Treatment/Fingerprint Enhancement
· Fingerprinting of vehicles
· Ten Prints
· Classification of Fingerprints
The course coordinator said that he was very happy and proud to utilize the service of two local fingerprints experts in the persons of Retired Inspector of Police, Mr. Franklyn Williams, and Retired Sergeant of Police, Mr. O’Neil Henry. He noted that the two instructors spent precious time imparting their knowledge and expertise to the participants. He pointed out that no one failed the course and he was at how serious the officers were about the training and at their eagerness to learn.
In a word of encouragement to the officers, Station Sergeant Archibald said “you have to know where you came from, where you are, and where you are going as police officers. Because only then they will have a sense of your purpose as a police officer and how best you can serve your county.”
He thanked Commissioner John for his forward-thinking vision for training for police officers and the participants for equipping themselves with the knowledge to take the RSVGPF forward.
Delivering the keynote address, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Colin John congratulated all of the participants for completing the training. He also thanked the course coordinator and the instructors for their effective delivery of the training modules; and for giving their time to impart knowledge to the participants. The Commissioner lauded the contribution made by retired police officers who continue to contribute to the development of the members of the organization in tangible ways.
The Commissioner told the officers “the world is changing and we have to adapt to these changes. The criminals are finding innovative ways to conduct their nefarious practices. And as police officers, we have to ensure that we are equipped to successfully counteract their activities.” Mr. John said that fingerprinting is an ‘old art’ – one that is tried and tested. He told the participants that forensics is current science and is an area that presents several opportunities for police officers.
Commissioner John used the opportunity to highlight the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the RSVGPF. He said “we have seen police officers being affected by the COVID -19 virus. These incidences have caused us to work extra hours because some officers are either in quarantine or in the hospital.” He further told the participants “it would be remiss of me not to mention this. Vaccination is a personal choice but it is something that I am strongly encouraging. We have seen one member of the organization died from a COVID-related illness and others affected at several stations and departments. You have no control over what you would meet out there on a daily basis. You have control over how your body is prepared to meet whatever eventuality out there.”
He continued “As police officers, there are unimaginable things you can encounter in your duty. So I am encouraging you to ensure that your body is in a state of readiness. And based on the current science, the COVID vaccine seems to be the best weapon or the most effective weapon to prevent serious illness and death among persons.”
The Commissioner comforted the officers by saying that while COVID-19, the explosive eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano, and other events presented challenges for the RSVGPF, they also created opportunities as well. He said that the occurrences afforded him the opportunity to demonstrate his leadership skills in leading and motivating the men and women in the RSVGPF.
“We have excellent police officers. I am proud of the men and women that I am leading. From time to time, we have a few ‘bad eggs.’ I want to proudly say that the men and women of the RSVGPF are hardworking, they are focused, they are very dedicated. My job as Commissioner is made easier with your level of discipline and skills” said Commissioner John.