BVI News

Challenge keeping officers motivated since COVID seeped into RVIPF

Deputy Police Commissioner, Alwin James.

By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff

The recent rapid increase of COVID-19 cases and its direct impact on the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has created a challenge in keeping some officers motivated.

This is according to the Acting Commissioner of Police, Alwin James, who told BVI News the morale of some officers dropped when members of the force started testing positive for the virus.

“Officers are humans and will have concerns about their safety as individuals as well as that of their families. There is a level of fear in the community about COVID-19 and officers are no exception. Nobody wants to contract this virus,” James stated.

“It is, [therefore], challenging to keep officers motivated given the fear element of the virus,” he noted.

Human resources in the Force impacted

With the Health Minister recently confirming that a number of police officers have tested positive for the virus and their close contacts isolated, James said the strength of the force has been weakened with the unavailability of some of its staff.

“We have positive cases within the force so our human resources are impacted, and we are required daily to take into consideration actions that would keep our staff safe and by extension their families,” he explained.

“We had to isolate and quarantine a significant number of officers. This affected the resources available for frontline duties. There was concern about workspaces, hence the reason for the temporary closure of stations and deep cleaning,” James added.

Measures taken to protect the well-being of officers

The acting commissioner further said the RVIPF has been taking a number of measures to protect the health of all police officers both physically and mentally.

These measures include the provision of personal protective equipment, keeping officers informed regularly, continuously providing updated information on the virus, and testing the entire force to allow for everyone to know their status.

Additionally, the RVIPF has been engaged in discussions with health officials to prevent the spread of the virus and to encourage consistent safe behaviour.

To cope with the mental aspect, provisions have been made to ensure all officers have access to counselling support through the RVIPF counsellor and the Government Employees Assistance Programme).

Greater compliance needed from the public

In the meantime, Acting Commissioner James is urging members of the public to be more compliant with police officers.

He said: “The cooperation of the public is not always at the level desired. Greater compliance is necessary for the safety of all within our communities … As the primary law enforcement agency of the territory, we are charged with enforcing the curfews and restrictions for the control and suppression of the pandemic.”

The BVI has had a total of 66 positive COVID-19 cases with 37 recoveries, 28 active and one death.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

23 Comments

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  1. Wear your masks! says:

    Constantly seeing police officers in video clips where they are not wearing their masks. How about them setting a good example?

    Like 45
    Dislike 5
  2. Huh says:

    Maybe if they started taking precautions like wearing masks when roughing up citizens in roadside stops there would be slightly less cause in concern.

    Like 27
    Dislike 5
    • @ huh says:

      Exactly my thoughts. Instead of this man talk about his officers not wearing mask when deal with citizens. He’s on here talking a bunch of nonsense 🙄.

      Like 16
      Dislike 3
  3. hmmm says:

    to begin with, whoever told them, police were immuned to the covid virus?

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
  4. community says:

    This guy needs to learn what “community” policing means, as he has replaced to well respected seargents with 2 mouthy PCs and is in for a lot of complaints due to these actions.

    Like 17
    Dislike 4
  5. Lol says:

    Pure rubbish! They are never wearing mask when deal with people. This is not the sign of officers not being motivated. This is a sign of “ I’m above the law and I do what I want.” James you are just making excuses for your untrained officers. 😂😂.

    Like 29
    Dislike 4
  6. strupes says:

    Is this the reason why the scooter/motorcycle riders and drag racers all over the place forming deass???????

    Like 25
    Dislike 2
  7. pt07 says:

    The law enforcement in the BVI is a joke, I have seen the law broken many times in front of the police and they do nothing about it. We have a big problem with the scooters but the government or the cops are not even trying to stop it even the Hells Angels who broke many laws, I have never seen them display this type of behavior on the road, it need to stop they think that they are above the law.
    Police officers enforce the law, which applies to Hells Angels members whether they like it or not. So, when cops catch a motorcyclist riding or behaving illegally, they won’t hesitate to pull them over. And, when that happens, the rest of the chapter will act according to club rules.
    When one angel gets pulled over, the rest do the same and sit on the side of the road in solidarity. They do this as a supportive symbol, for sure, but it might also serve as a bit of intimidation for the cop who has forced the bike to the shoulder.

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
  8. @strupes says:

    To stand and correct you those guys who are in the road forming the &ss they are not drag racers they are a bunch of little idiots and a few grown men who haven’t grew up.

    Like 19
    Dislike 2
  9. Anonymous says:

    Serious c********n in that establishment. Taking or confiscating illegal substances while in uniform under the guise of law enforcement and diverting collections fron legal proceedings can be called corruption.

  10. Taxi men says:

    Maybe if the officers weren’t (allegedly) driving the strippers to and from work and acting as security for the strip club that brought the virus loaded strippers in illegally then there wouldn’t be an issue.

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
    • west coast says:

      yes I agree with your blog some come here to work as police but going security especially in the clubs

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
    • Knowing says:

      These same officers are living a double standard life. They are the ones running around the spanish women,so when they take the virus to their homes and infect wives and family members let them blaim the territory so their wives or common laws are affected.

  11. No Results says:

    They say see something and say something but that is definitely not working. I wonder why.

    Should we then turn a blind eye on those around us who still choose to disregard the curfew?

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  12. Observer says:

    Please Mr.James you are talking about the officers not motivated. Before the Covid they were not motivated because of your decisions on promotions.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  13. LOL says:

    Wearing a mask does NOT protect you from a virus, stop the BS!

    • Yawn says:

      Here comes another self proclaimed Trumpster who knows everything and has all the answers, ignoring medical science that has been tested and proven. Oh well

  14. Common sence says:

    Any body with a little common sence can figure out why so much police men have covid. Could be the allegations of moonlighting at the strip clubs are true.

  15. Mr. Hodge says:

    Firstly, the officers should have respect for the law. Meaning, they are just as responsible for demonstrating the law as they are to uphold it. They are not above the law and should not feel as though rules and the law does not pertain to them.
    secondly, Officers should also respect their station. As an officer of the law, one shouldn’t be out strip clubbing, drinking and blurring the lines . If you’re a cop then you’re a cop. Not just something to do to get exemption… But that’s a topic for another time

  16. Who dont hear go feel says:

    The police always think they above every one and that’s why they are getting hurt. I’m not rejoicing, but they never want to do the right things and set examples. They dont use their seat belts neither wear any mask. WELL HERE IS MR. COVID FOR YOU ALL. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH THE FORCE.

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