The Ministry of National Security yesterday opened its first annual senior management conclave with over 40 representatives from all law enforcement agencies.
“This is extremely important,” said Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, following the morning session at Island House.
“We are all about improving our service delivery to the Bahamian people and you can’t do that in an ad hoc fashion.
“If we are going to do it, then you have to ensure that our internal mechanisms are in place and that our human resource component is up to the challenge and the way we do that is through events such as this and this conclave is extremely important.
“We are talking about senior managers, many of whom may not have a good enough appreciation for finance and how it works, and budgeting and human resources.
“A few days ago, I mentioned the fact that we intend to commence a civilianization process for our law enforcement agencies because we want to get police officers on the streets, we want to get defense force officers on crafts. We want to get corrections officers overseeing inmates, we don’t need them answering telephones or behind the desks just uploading just basic information on the computers. We need them doing the job that they were recruited to do.
“…These agencies must also understand how they are seen by members of the public; how they are seen by persons living within communities, persons who are owners of businesses, civil society. It’s extremely important.
“They will have an opportunity to do that today and they will have an opportunity to get real talk from members of the public and that’s what we want because it’s all about improving the quality of service and raising the level of professionalism and that’s where we are moving towards.”
Dames said this shift toward professionalism will see new hires in the ministry.
“We have a document that we have been working on for some time and that really lays out the makeup of the new Ministry of National Security,” he said.
“And coming out of that, we discovered that we need some more persons because we need to create new areas.
“…We are not just hiring people for hiring them.
“We are hiring specialists to assist us because national security is the center of the Ministry of National security and we have to be efficient.
“We have to be well structured so that we can provide the support to the police force, the defense force, the parliamentary registrar, to the corrections department, and so we are now comfortable that we are at that place and we’ve made provisions for the additional resources that we will be building up national security.”
The conclave includes sessions on agency budgeting and public finance, the community perspective of law enforcement agencies, career development and succession planning, the civilianization of uniform branches, the importance of inter agency collaboration in the fight against crime and more.