PWA thanks Special Police Constables for contributions to RSLPF
Police Welfare Association President Travis Chicot (center)
In recognition of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Special Police Constables (SPC), the Police Welfare Association is calling for all SPCs be given the same recognition as regular police officers.
Since June 9, 1995, voluntary members of the public with similar powers of the regular police have worked alongside regular officers as SPCs.
The PWA posted to their Facebook page saying:
"It must be noted that this grouping within the Organization has been marginalized and not recognized for its gigantic contribution to the existence of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.
We have seen a fight by the executives of various Police Welfare Associations, to make this prestigious group become even more integral in the RSLPF.
Notwithstanding we see a blatant disregard by the hierarchy of the organization to continue to operate with a view as if these groups are being done a favor."
SPCs work the same hours and duties as any other officer in the RSLPF and according to PWA executive, some are more productive workers than regular officers in the RSLPF.
"Some have attained higher academic and professional certification training than regular police officers in addition to having a better working record.
Some are better in policing than regulars and wear the uniform proudly and the list can go on till tomorrow."
The only difference between the SPC and regular police is the law.
Associations, the statement noted, must fight for law changes to ensure that SPC's are given total protection under the law.
"In this day and age, we see SPC's with ten plus years of service being given six months appointment periods.
How shameful that we treat persons who have a natural expectation to being permanent as if their service is not important.
This is still a sore point to be dealt with by present and any other Association.
We must ensure that the rights of our SPCs are respected and must at no time be trampled upon.
We have recommended that we all wear the same uniform in the RSLPF and stop the discrimination. We must also only recruit regulars from the rank of SPC.
We must also fill every vacancy which exists year-round in the rank of constable from the SPCs.
We must also set up the regulations for SPCs to ensure that they are given an equal opportunity in the RSLPF.
As a Welfare Association, we commend and salute the efforts of all SPCs. They deserve to be treated better, they need to be respected, they are important and play a greater role in this new era in policing in Saint Lucia. I urge SPCs to know their rights and stand against injustice in the organisation."