PETER KNIBB was in awe after he was presented with The Gleaner's Silver Pen award last week.
"I did not expect this at all," he said laughing.
"It is my passion, however, to be a part of the solution than to be talking all the time. I believe that the police force plays an integral role in society and must be the epitome of exemplary service," Knibb said.
His letter, 'Solutions for a New Police Force', which was published August 8, explored new solutions for the organisation, which included mechanisms that would make police personnel more accountable.
"I suggest that going forward, all new recruits be given a five-year renewable employment contract right up to the level of, say, deputy superintendent. Above that level, a regular contract can be given," Knibb suggested in his letter
"Every five years, each officer's continuation in the force and contract renewal would be decided by a five-member tribunal comprising representatives from the Police Federation and the Independent Commission of Investigations on one side, two members from civil society organisations on the other, and the Police Service Commission," he continued.
Need for Professionalism
Knibb also emphasised the need for professionalism to be maintained, adding that officers should see themselves as servants.
"An end-of-contract gratuity could be incorporated into contracts, which would be payable only after all outstanding matters in which the officer is involved are closed out. This will have the added benefit of speeding matters through the courts, which are now adversely affected by police inaction, inefficiency, and delay," said the chartered accountant.
"The police will then be made to understand that they are servants of and accountable to the society which employs them and not a law unto themselves. This system should, over a fairly short time, lead to increased professionalism within the force," Knibb declared.