By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames congratulated 100 new police graduates yesterday for successfully completing the police recruit training programme.
Speaking during the graduation at Police Training College, Mr Dames encouraged the new cohort to “stand firm” through difficult times on the job.
He said: “On behalf of the government and the people of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, I congratulate each of you on your special day. As first responders, your (job) is not an easy task. Often times you’re criticised for those things that’s even not your responsibility but you must take it like a man and a woman - and an officer - and press on. Because that’s what first responders do.
“There is an expectation that when others are down and out, despite your challenges, despite your feelings, despite your losses, that you to must be there to rescue them. (Your job) is not an easy task but you must stand firm.”
Mr Dames advised the new officers to keep their integrity and to not become corrupt.
He said: “I want you to always remember these three very important things. Number one, remember who you work for, police officers serve the public. How the police choose to fulfil their function and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence - actions and behaviour. Never mistreat or abuse any member of the public at any time.
“Number two, keep mentally and physically healthy. Many aspects of police work require you to perform physically demanding tasks. Do not allow (your) physical training to go to waste. Remember when you put on your uniform, you represent our great nation.”
Mr Dames added: “Number three, maintain quality time with your loved ones. If there is anything that this recent storm has taught us it is we ought to cherish the people we love. Keep an appropriate work life balance, do not carry the problems of the world with you home at the end of your shift.”
Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson warned the graduates to “be careful of the company” they keep.
“As you transition into law enforcement there are a lot of persons out there who would want to use you for their personal gain. Trouble is easy to get in but hard to get out of. Word to the wise is sufficient,” the police chief said.
“Put God first in all things, every day you will have the opportunity to do good, to build on your personal or professional reputation. You must remember that every person you interact with during the course of your duty will tell someone about his or her experience with you so choose to be positive and professional.”
He added: “Be passionate about your job, love what you do and enjoy going to work. Be self-motivated don’t sit around and wait for others to motivate you. Some days you will have to create your own sunshine. Stay fit and take care of your body so you can be better prepared for the physical action that is required.”