by Donella Hosten
12 Officers from the Regional Security System (RSS) have completed a 1-week training course on Regional Advance Crime Scene Technician, sponsored by the US Government, which commenced on Monday, 18 September.
The participating officers came from member states of St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, Dominica, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Antigua & Barbuda and Grenada. They were all awarded certificates during the closing ceremony on Friday, 22 September at the Grenadian by Rex Resorts.
Superintendent Kamecia Blake Byam, addressed the participants and their comrades, and she reiterated the timeliness of this training course. ‘We have seen the reduction of eye-witness testimonies, and seen the informal training of criminals,’ through television shows. She reaffirmed the RSS’s commitment to continue the training of officers in the region so they can be constantly updated with current techniques and trends that are developing. She also mentioned they are working on providing member states with the necessary equipment needed to execute their duties efficiently.
Forensic Specialist Dr Desiree Spriggs, attached to the Helix Genetic and Scientific Solutions Laboratory in Bermuda, was the main facilitator for the course, and she outlined some of the topics covered. These included: Ethics; Disciplines in Forensic Science; Evidence Recovery; Preservation; Packaging; Storage; Identification of Bodily Fluids; DNA Testing; Profiling from Crime Scene, Gunshot Residue; Blood Pattern Analysis and Sexual Assault.
Networking was mentioned as the main challenge all of the member states faced. Despite the fact that some of the participants were from islands that were ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Dr Briggs said they displayed an eagerness to learn and share information with each other. She commended them on this attribute, as she noted the main purpose of the course, ‘was really to bring our member states to the same level.’
Grenada’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Franklyn Redhead, gave the feature address, in which he reminded all of the trainees to always be professional, while displaying integrity and good character. The training, according to him, is indeed relevant. “The RSS is us. It is each member state contributing to the RSS to make it strong,” therefore, there must be standardisation processes that they all must adhere to.
Redhead lauded their achievements and enthusiasm throughout the sessions, and told them that this training course is proof that ‘policing is evolving; and the environment in which we operate is very dynamic.’