The office of the Police Commissioner is investigating reports that two senior police officers shortchanged junior ranks who were moonlighting during the recent Mercury Fest activities, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) has said.
A reporter raised the issue at a police news conference Friday.
It is alleged that the senior officers were given the contract to provide security for the event and hired their juniors to engage in special duty or off duty employment.
But according to reports, the junior ranks are claiming that they were underpaid.
“The office of the Commissioner of Police is not in a position to comment on the validity of the claims, as it is currently being looked into,” a statement from the RSLPF Friday noted.
The statement was issued hours after Friday’s news conference.
It explained that as it stands now, there is legislation as to a payment scheme for special duty, but it dates back to about 1965.
“Despite recommendations for an amendment, there have been none, and so, no current legislation exists in relation to fees governing off duty employment,” the statement observed.
It explained that prices paid are usually negotiated between event organizers and the officer in charge of the duty.
“In rare circumstances, if an individual applies directly to the Commissioner of Police, the Commissioner may advise on the rate to be charged by the officers.”
According to the statement, the Commissioner of Police is responsible for approval for mass crowd events and permission to operate loud speakers.
It observed that these responsibilities have been delegated to shared offices, the office of the ACP with responsibility for Operations and that of the ACP with responsibility for Territorial Policing.
“Permission for such activities will only be granted if the applicant has satisfied all the requirements set out in a checklist, which includes documentation from NEMO, ECCO licenses, Liquor Licenses and the requisite number of security personnel,” the RSLPF stated.
“If the security personnel include Police Officers, these officers must apply and receive approval to engage in off duty employment, which is given by the ACP responsible for Territorial Policing.”
The police statement said there are certain requirements that officers applying to engage in off duty employment must satisfy.
“They include, but are not limited to, authorization from the officer in charge of the department or station he or she is attached to, a copy of their duties during the stipulated period to ensure they are off duty with no less than eight hours following the end time of the activity before resuming duty and a satisfactory appraisal score.”