Hinds’ recipe for a better force

Different strategy needed to mould new generation of police officers

A retired deputy commissioner of police, who was just awarded the Officer Of The British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honoursthinks the force’s leadership is fighting an uphill battle in dealing with the modern crop of law enforcement officers.  

Asked what improvements he would like to see now that he had been recognized for his 44 years’ service in the Royal Barbados Police Force, Bertie Hinds suggested some changes would be necessary considering that the leadership faced a number of challenges in moulding the new generation of policemen and policewomen.

Retired Deputy Commissioner of Police Bertie Hinds.
Retired Deputy Commissioner of Police Bertie Hinds.

“When I left the force we had a lot of good things going in the organization. Members of the force should be a bit more committed. I feel they can, but when you say A, you say B. We are dealing with different types, different generations in the organization.

“It would take you longer to mould these people than in my early days . . . because we came in with a solid commitment to do the job,” said Hinds, who retired in January 2013 after eight years as deputy commissioner of police.

Hinds added: “There wasn’t much else knocking around at the time. You either had to go into teaching or banking, and, again, the mores and values were different, and we committed ourselves to doing the job.

“But society has been dynamic and will continue to be dynamic, so you will find different people with different views and different commitments joining the organization. So it makes it a bit tougher for management and leadership in the organization because they have to grapple with modern-day
values and mores.”

On the lighter side, Hinds told Barbados TODAY this morning, that the OBE, which was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on Saturday, was something he would cherish and honour.

“I think it has come at a time when I demitted office, and I felt that I would have done yoeman service to the force and to the country, and the authorities would have recognized that and duly rewarded me. So, I feel great about it,” declared the former number two man in the Police Force.

Asked if the CBE would change his life in anyway he replied: “No, I don’t think it would, because I have always tried to live a very modest life. I have always been people-oriented, I have always committed myself to good ideas and ideals . . . it is not going to change me in any way.”

However, he gave the assurance he would be even more cautious in his conduct.

“People would be looking on . . . . They’ll be looking for how you conduct yourself in public and so on. I don’t think that’s an issue for me because I have always conducted myself well; I believe whatever I go to do in my professional capacity I do it to the best of my ability and the satisfaction to whomsoever I dealt with and, by extension, to the force and the country. So it’s not going to mean any major change in my life to me,” he asserted.

Questioned as to whether he would have preferred to receive the honour while in office, the retired deputy police chief didn’t think it made a difference.

“The point is that I have been recognized for a long service to the force and to the country, and whether it came during or after it is neither here nor there to me. I was recognized for my contribution, which the authorities thought was over and above the average, or, let’s say, a great contribution to the organization and to the country,” insisted Hinds.

He recalled that perhaps his greatest experience in the force was, when, as a young police officer, he was asked by former Commissioner Orville Durant to play a major role in Tradewinds –– an annual United States Southern Command-sponsored training exercise conducted in the Caribbean Basin that focuses on improving cooperation and security in the region.

“I was a young inspector at the time. I was given the task of scripting and designing the land phase of the first Tradewinds exercise in the Caribbean,” he recalled.

“I did it, and at the end of the day, what added to that, I had to account for the operations side of the thing . . . before the then Prime Minister Sir Lloyd [Erskine Sandiford]. I had to explain everything, how the exercise went . . . . I think that stands out among many other memorable events in my career.”

The newly honoured Hinds has no regrets about being a law enforcement officer and, if he had to, he would do it all over again.

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