Time to return to grass roots policing
The Royal Gazette Ltd
July 26, 2000
at a lunch held by Hamilton Rotary Club Police Commissioner Jean-Jacques Lemay
said it was time for Bermuda to revert to grass roots policing.
promote greater Police involvement with the public - the establishment of
consultative committees to assist the Police Service
use of technology,
putting officers back on the beat and
ensuring officers worked efficiently.
are also looking inwards to improve ourselves through introducing new methods
of measuring work performance through new appraisal systems, and we are
revising our promotion systems at the same time in order to select and reward
those most able to supervise and manage in the new way of doing business in
the Bermuda Police Service."
do believe Bermuda can be a role model for other Police jurisdictions in the
Carribean, the UK, Canada and the USA."
was an in-depth internal audit of all of the operational and business
practices of the service. The core functions exercise took a while, and it
revealed some things about policing in Bermuda that we liked, such as the fact
that we were not doing badly
in catching certain kinds of criminals.
the future, what our customers want is freedom from crime, and more
importantly, freedom from their fear of crime.
Lemay revealed yesterday that he was waiting for experienced officers to join
the service as Bermudian constables on the beat had only four years'
experience on average. He hoped that in August officers from the UK
would arrive to swell the ranks of officers that recently arrived from St.
Lucia and the Caribbean.
Lemay had been to the UK to conduct interviews of prospective officers but
added they may be forced to recruit from Canada due to the difficulty of UK
officers getting time off.
doing badly'? Since when is that the basis to predict building a
'role model'. If the best you can do (or an aspect you 'liked') was the
ability to 'not do badly' then, I'm sorry, but you are starting from
the bottom. And not doing badly at what ... oh, catching some kinds of
there's that word ... 'customers', the public (or is the people you 'catch')
are no longer just the population we police; they are 'customers. I
thought we'd lost that word in the 90's when it came to describing the police
'force' (oops, sorry 'service'). What's it like to be customer, patron,
regular, client, purchaser ...?
are some phrases that come to mind ... 'the customer is always right' (I don't
think so in the circumstances), ''customers can vote with their feet' (really
'Customer' is a sign,
an indication of the contempt with which you are treated and considered.
No one is suggesting you are being stereo-typed, compartmentalised, but you
are not 'customers'. An appropriate parallel would be that you are
purchasers forced to obtain a specific service; the police service is a
monopoly. I'm not criticising Bermuda specifically, but I am saddened
that you too are the subject of political platitudes. You want to be a
role model - start by breaking free of the product you are being spoon
fed. Think laterally and logically. Apply imagination and
another parallel: if you are customers where's the competition? Where's
you right to choice. How do you express your freedom of choice?
How do supply and demand relate to the 'product' our are provided?
the USA the government are breaking up Microsoft because, whilst supplying its
customers a service, this is not in the public interest - so say the
are not 'customers', you are 'cattle'. I'm not suggesting you invoke the
rights of customers, I saying you should not be labeled as such.
not suggesting rebellion and anarchy, I'm advocating thought. You could
be a role model, but not if you accept everything that is pout in front of you
and swallow it like good children.
time to 'revert to grass roots'? Who woke Mr Lemay up, where's he been
for the past year: