Opinion

EDITORIAL: Ensuring A Fit Police Force While Working To Ensure A Safe Fiji

To ensure the safety and security of all Fijians and its visitors, our Police officers are expected to be proactive in their fight against crime 24 hours a day, 365
02 Feb 2018 12:46
EDITORIAL: Ensuring A  Fit Police Force While Working To Ensure A Safe Fiji
Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho at the new Police gym at Centre Point headquarters on January 31, 2018. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

To ensure the safety and security of all Fijians and its visitors, our Police officers are expected to be proactive in their fight against crime 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Public holidays and weekends are just another day on the job for the 4,000 plus Police officers across Fiji.

When we divide the 2017 population figures recently released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics of 884,887 by say 4000 police officers, this means that one officer serves approximately 221 Fijians.

Most of these officers work long and irregular hours. Some are overloaded and under pressure – working on 10 to 20 files at the same time.

While the number of Police Stations has increased over the years, the number of people employed in the Force remains the same.

As a result, looking after their health becomes secondary.

A health Audit conducted last year found close to 400 Police officers in the red.

This meant that they needed urgent attention to ensure they were fit enough to perform their role.

Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho is determined to get the Force fit.

Those who failed to undergo the health audit without a valid reason would be disciplined.

At least 1,600 officers have yet to undertake the audit.

Attending funerals of deceased officers also shook the Commissioner to the core.

Most were sole breadwinners who left young families behind. 

So despite criticism even from within, the Commissioner believes the health audit is implemented for the benefit of his officers.

To get a promotion, Police officers now have to pass a physical fitness test.

This too was received with a lot of resentment.

But the Police chief is adamant that the productivity of our men and women in blue can be further enhanced if they are psychologically and physically fit.

The force is also taking a holistic approach by creating awareness with family members. 

But ultimately, the individual Police officer has to take ownership and responsibility for his or her own health to contribute to ensuring the safety and security of the people of Fiji and its visitors.

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj




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