During a gala event in their honour, the female police officers in the RVIPF were charged to maintain positive work ethics at all times.
The all-black themed event was held on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, at Manhattan Lounge at Slaney Point, Tortola, where they were treated to a three-course meal, live entertainment by the Female Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Band, special awards and a keynote address by Superintendent of Police of the Barbados Police Service, Ms Christine Stanford.
The theme was ‘Time of reflecting, re-strategising & re-positioning for 21st Century’.
In her address, Ms Standford quoted an unknown author saying, “Not all women are created equal, the best become police officers,” as she charged them to be confident, to continuously improve their knowledge, skills and to maintain a positive work ethic.
“I encourage you to be mindful that the latter half of the last Century and continuing, women worldwide have stood up as examples of power and courage alongside their male counterparts. This has been significant in leadership roles and moreover, in previously titled non-traditional roles or male-dominated career fields.”
According to Stanford, this must continue as it is important that women police remain above reproach in their conduct and set examples of integrity for all in the force, both males and especially females.
“There is still much to be done as women emerge and maintain positive role model influence, overcoming challenges, achieving and maintaining parity with men, while displaying the highest standards of conduct.”
She alluded to the fact that the RVIPF, like any modern law enforcement entity, has an enormous responsibility, especially given the range of national security challenges faced today.
The women of the RVIPF heard that women have been represented at every level of the force in the Virgin Islands.
It started in 1966 when Ms Eileen L. Baronville became the first enlisted female. She served for 34 years and retired as Inspector of Police.
In 2012 Woman Inspector Paula Alleyne became the first female Chief Inspector and is presently Acting Detective Superintendent of Police.
“Females throughout the force have continued to emerge to high heights and in 2016 the proverbial glass ceiling in the organisation was broken when Woman Inspector Jacqueline Vanterpool was appointed as the first female Superintendent of Police and presently Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police.”
She insisted, “Ladies, if you want to achieve success without hard work, without improving knowledge of the job, the only other way would be to cut corners and subject yourself to favours and the fancies of those who you consider to have your future in their hands. Instead, I wish to strongly encourage you to plan carefully in all areas, particularly family life. Family can get in the way if you don’t plan properly, especially if you want to make policing a career. I usually recommend having a plan A and plan B.”
Alluding to the fact that in most cases women of today carry the burden of their families and are most times seen as the weaker of the sexes, Ms Stanford said, “Because you are a female, you sometimes expect to be treated differently or you use the female “excuse” to get out of doing a particular task. When you are told to do something you are not in favour of, particularly if told it by a senior female officer, you turn to a male officer with the hope of getting that male officer on your side, causing the female officer to be seen as draconian. This does not bode well for you.”
They were urged to support, encourage, respect and congratulate each other all the time while bearing in mind that there will always be good and bad days.
There are more than 80 female officers in the RVIPF.