Police ranks bolstered as 21 new officers complete training
New police officers were reminded of the “great responsibility” that comes with their job at a passing out ceremony yesterday.
Commissioner of Police Darrin Simons told the 21 recruits that they were no longer average citizens.
He said: “I want you to think about the level of trust that the community has placed in you, I want you to really think about that.
“It almost goes without saying that with great power comes great responsibility.
“You’re expected to uphold the law fairly and without favour; you’re expected to be kind and firm, often at the same time; you’re expected to be courageous.”
He added: “You are professional risk-takers. Fear, although real, must be managed and moved past.
“Not every day, but you will be placed in stressful situations where you have to make difficult or split-second decisions with incomplete information and conflicting information sometimes.
“A small proportion of those decisions may have life-or-death implications.”
Mr Simons highlighted that split-second decisions made by police officers will be analysed by people removed from the stress of the moment and after all the facts are known “in the comfort of their easy-chairs”.
He added: “They will determine whether what you did was right or wrong, good or bad.
“Such is the nature and necessity of accountability around our superpowers. It just comes with the job.”
Mr Simons was speaking at an event at the police headquarters in Prospect, Devonshire, attended by dignitaries as well as family and friends of the recruits.
He told the new officers: “Whether you want to or not, you are a role model.
“You are not your average citizen, whether you’re on duty or off duty.
“Wherever you go, whoever you hang out with, whatever you do, you will always be viewed by the community and me, your employer, through the lens that you are a police officer.”
Rena Lalgie, the Governor, presented certificates to the women and men who completed 18 weeks of training as part of Recruit Foundation Course 81 as they embarked on careers in the Bermuda Police Service.
She said: “At times this work will be difficult, and remaining calm under pressure, no matter what, will be essential.
“The work that they will do to help the vulnerable persons or those who have been seriously injured in distressing circumstances will be very indicative of their service.
“Having, in some circumstances, to give difficult news to family members, and having to adapt into the demands of different circumstances, it is fair to say that there are easier things you could have chosen to do.
“But we thank you for stepping forward to serve Bermuda in the Bermuda Police Service.”
Michael Weeks, the Minister of National Security, highlighted the importance of family support, which he said will be critical to the success of the new police officers as they work late nights and irregular hours.
Kayjuna Lema, winner of the Academic Award
Andre Burgess, winner of the Male Instructor’s Cup
Taye Lambe, winner of the Michael Mylod’s Cup
Vincent Dunigan Jr.
Jamieko Smith, winner of the Baton of Honour
Peter-Paul Taylor, winner of the Male All-Round Athlete Award
Jennifer Suter, winner of the Female Instructor’s Cup and Female All-Round Athlete Award
Jamieko Smith, of Devonshire, who was presented with the prestigious Baton of Honour, felt “elated” to have completed his initial training and to receive the award.
He said: “I joined because I know that there are many deep qualities inside of myself that are needed in the community.
“I see that there’s a gap — there’s a gap between public and police.
“The morals, the standards, the attitude, the personality that I carry are going to make an impact in bridging that gap.
“I joined just to do my part.”
Peter-Paul Taylor picked up the award for male all-round athlete.
He said: “I think coming in as a member of the Regiment, I had discipline, and coming from that type of unit, that made the transition a little bit easier, especially with fitness as well.
“I had to get my mind back into that lesson, going-to-school mindset. The training staff were phenomenal at helping everyone get back into that, stayed on top of us.
“Any questions we asked, they definitely were there to get the answer for us.
“Challenging, yes, but it’s definitely an achievable challenge.”
Mr Taylor, who reached the rank of Colour Sergeant in 13 years at the Regiment, added: “Coming from that background, I think this was a career that I believe was definitely still in the field of helping the community but taking it a little step further.”