Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 11, 2015 (SKNIS): Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, is of the view that leadership skills are integral to community policing. Addressing the audience as the featured speaker at the closing ceremony of the Regional Security System (RSS) Section Leaders’ Course on December 10, 2015, Prime Minister Harris explained that “there is much emphasis being placed here in St. Kitts and Nevis, as is the case in most jurisdictions in the region, on the premise that law enforcement should be taking place in a community policing environment.”
He noted that building strategic partnerships with stake holders must be done by each officer if objectives of community policing are to be achieved, noting that “enforcement officers must become expert at building coalitions and communicating with stakeholders,” and implored that “not only must our security leaders work with personnel within their respective units, but they must also develop and enhance alliances with external groups; engage in cross-functional activities; and find common ground with a widening range of stakeholders.”
Prime Minister Harris, underscoring the importance of leadership as it relates to law enforcement, said that according to what current literature suggests it is imperative that “law enforcement officers and security leaders become adept at leading change in their organisation, leading people and driving the results required in the organisation.”
He underscored the importance of “accountability and continuous improvement; effective decision making and producing results through strategic planning and the timely implementation and evaluation of programmes and policies.” These strategic plans, he says, are important to leadership action among the police.
He indicated that it is important of each officer “to take time to reflect, assess and collect data in order to make informed decisions,” adding that, “in evaluating information and data, good police leaders give their stakeholders the opportunity to review and provide input, and review best practices.”
Prime Minister Harris further explained that it is also important for officers to exhibit skills in areas that are not directly linked to law enforcement.
“Leaders should also demonstrate a business acumen, displaying the ability to acquire and administer human, financial, material and information resources. This must be done in a manner that instils public trust, accomplishes the organization’s mission and uses technology to enhance decision-making.”
Prime Minister Harris challenged each of the course participants to, “let the leader in you emerge, act and do right” and encouraged them “to act upon the essential lessons and guidance.”