As the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force continues the transformation into a modern day Police Service; one built on integrity and service delivery, new policies and protocols are being put in place to ensure both. In this effort the The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force has now become the first Police Service in the region to incorporate in its integrity screening process the use of Polygraphy, Urinalysis and a Psychological Assessment using the latest technology available ‘Eye Detect’.
According to Roger Branche a Forensic Psychologist and owner of the Forensic Psychological Services, the new technology significantly enhances the vetting process.
Over the last weeks All Senior Officers of the Police Service underwent Advanced Security Screening. The screening of Senior Officers was first announced by Commissioner of Police Mr. Ian M. Queeley in January at his New Year’s Lecture to the Police Service.
According to Commissioner of Police Mr. Ian M. Queeley, “Our Officers are expected to display and live by the highest standards of integrity, and so we have screened all Senior Officers, and we will now screening the rank and file of the service. We will screen all incoming recruits, and we will conduct random screening of Officers on an needs basis going forward.” Commissioner Queeley added, “our community must be able to have confidence and trust its Police Service, and this is a first step of many to ensure that our community can be confident in our Police Officers.”
Seventy-nine recruits working to join the security forces have been screened using the polygraph technology as part of efforts to ensure that applicants possess high levels of integrity, honesty, confidentiality and other values needed to serve and protect in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Inspector of Police, Eldrin Dickenson, said that 45 of the recruits are from the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF), while the remaining 34 are recruits of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force.
Inspector Dickenson is leading this initiative, having being the most senior of four police officers trained in Psychophysiological Detection of Deception during a workshop in December 2014 in Barbados. He also completed the Regional Security System Training Institute’s (RSS-TI) Advanced Polygraph Examiner Course in Antigua earlier this year.
“It’s going great,” he said, when asked about the current screening programme. He added that reports with the results are currently being compiled to present to each agency head. That is expected to be sometime next week. Twenty-three of the newest members of Her Majesty’s Prison will also be tested.
Superintendent of Prisons, Junie Hodge, said that he approached the police to conduct the screening for prison officers. Although the process will start with the newest members, Mr. Hodge noted that all prison officers will eventually receive polygraph testing.
“We are human beings and we are not perfect,” Mr. Hodge said, referring to a recent case where a senior prison officer was arrested and charged for smuggling contraband into the facility. He stated that polygraph testing and the installation of a full body scan system will help considerably in reducing any illicit actions.
“The body scan machine is expected in short order,” Superintendent Hodge noted, adding that anyone coming into the prison, himself included, will be subject to a full scan before entering.
The Prime Minister Dr. Hon Timothy Harris led Team UNITY administration budgeted $72 million which is being disbursed to the Ministry of National Security, representing an almost five-fold increase over the $15.3 million allocated to it in 2014. The $72 million is also exactly double the combined total amount disbursed to the Ministry of National Security in 2014 ($15.3 million) and 2015 ($20.7 million). The administration has pumped an unparalleled level of resources into National Security and the various unprecedented inititaitives in enhancing the security forces that are being announced is as a result of that unprecedented allocation to the Ministry of National Security.