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Trainee cops hit the street for a dose of reality

Photos provided by the RVIPF

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has announced that it is sending its newest group of trainees on the streets this week to begin the month-long practical aspect of their training programme.

The 27 recruits, who are now in their 19th week of training overall, already have been instructed on the fundamentals of policing.

“The trainees will respond to reports alongside experienced officers, who will guide and assess their capabilities in real life situations during this mentorship phase,” said the RVIPF.

“Weaknesses or deficiencies that may surface will be addressed so that, at the end of six months [of training], these officers are well rounded and more prepared for the tasks which lie ahead.”

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews said he sees this mentorship component of the training as an important one, adding that it is the first of its kind.

“Clearly, the laws and theory behind policing must be taught. However, it is in the actual application that the theory becomes entrenched in the minds and day-to-day behaviour of new recruits.”

“For the first time, the RVIPF has invested in training 18 serving sergeants and constables for the task of mentoring these new recruits. Mentors are now prepared not only to tutor, but to give feedback to the chief instructor on areas of deficiency in the recruit to be dealt with in the final month of training,” Commissioner Matthews further said.

In March, following a swearing-in ceremony, 31 of the RVIPF’s newest officers entered a rigorous six-month police training programme – the second one to be held in the territory.

“The days include early morning physical exercise, a full day of lectures at the Marine Centre at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), and late-night studies in preparation for assignments the following day,” the RVIPF explained. “Along with instruction on all aspects of law enforcement, the curriculum includes Virgin Islands history, Spanish and English for law enforcement, and Sociology provided by instructors from HLSCC.”

In May, four of the recruits ended their training and were placed on duty as auxiliary officers.

Their chief instructor, Acting Inspector Westmore Jeffers, coordinated the in-class instruction. Training was delivered by Sergeant Beverly James and Acting Sergeant Nicholas Tranquille. Specialist training was offered by other officers of the RVIPF. The Commandant of the training programme is Superintendent Jacqueline Vanterpool.

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