Former National Security Minister Dr. Keith Mondesir believes members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) should get improved pay and more resources while defending officers who engage in off-duty security work.
“I said in any country any man can hold two jobs or three jobs and do it efficiently. The only thing in my opinion is that they have to apply for licences to get their own guns. They cannot use state guns to go and guard people,” Mondesir explained.
He said he sees no problem in police officers earning extra money since they would provide a better service than individuals who call themselves security guards but sleep on the job.
According to Mondesir, police officers are not well paid in Saint Lucia.
“Hence the reason why when I was Minister of National Security I said ‘You’ve got to pay these fellows better’ because in other countries they are paid a fair wage because their lives are always at risk and at stake,” he observed.
“We need to put our priorities right. We need to look at first of all, who can be a police office and we need to give them a salary where they are happy and you are happy with the result that they bring to you,” Mondesir stated.
“Treat your police officers well. Give them a good salary. That would be an attraction not only to the scum of the society to go and join policing – the last thing you want is to be an officer. But you have to have a desire to be an officer because you are well paid. Unless we do that you will have guys last resort they are going and join the police force and they have no love for what they are doing. You will never get them working hard for you,” he told St Lucia Times.
The former Minister also spoke of the need to be more selective in hiring people to be members of the RSLPF and advocated better treatment for informants on whom the police depend for information.
Mondesir spoke in the aftermath of Saturday night’s fatal shooting of off-duty police constable Nathan Timaitre at Bocage, Castries.
Shooters ambushed Timaitre and his colleague as they engaged in a cash escort.
The colleague sustained severe injuries and was hospitalized.
Mondesir condemned the attack and reiterated calls for very tough measures against criminals.