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First female CID head promises to keep politics out of job

First female CID head promises  to keep  politics  out of job

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“I will never involve politics in my job. I am a police first and foremost, and I am here to serve all the people!”

This was the proud assertion of Superintendent Ruth Hazel-Ann Jacobs – the first female police officer to be appointed as head{{more}} of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

With some 32 years of career experience under her belt, Supt Jacobs was quite nonchalant about the new position itself, but said that she is determined to do her best to help further develop the department – without taking any political sides.

“The same amount of respect I have for the Honourable Prime Minister, I have the same amount for the Honourable Leader of the Opposition,” she insisted.

“I know CID is a challenge; it’s a lot of hard work.”

Supt Jacobs, a Green Hill resident, said that her job priority is “protection of life and property;” and as such, she plans to equip her entire department with the training necessary to enable officers to work as effectively as possible.

“Training for me is paramount,” she explained. “You don’t necessarily have to go overseas to get training – you can get training right here. So, I’m concentrating on that… to continue to train them, so they can continue to be focused and continue to get on top of things.”

Supt Jacobs also added that she is particularly focused on tackling matters of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse and praedial larceny.

“Those issues I would like to see the police deal with, with urgency.”

In addition to leading the CID, Supt Jacobs is also the head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, and in the past had a long stint as a court prosecutor, having worked at all the Kingstown courts. Her longest stay of duty was seven years at the Family Court, where she was responsible for sexual offences and matters against juveniles.

Before she joined the police force, Supt Jacobs had applied to be a teacher, but was unsuccessful in that pursuit. She also had interest in becoming a mechanic, but before she could pursue that fully, she was accepted into police training, so she decided to go along with that and has never looked back.

“That would always be a choice I would want to make… Everything I earned, I earned it through being a police, and that is why I love my job so much. I am so dedicated to my job… I would not trade being a police officer for anything right now.”

In terms of her own training, Supt Jacobs has successfully completed studies in Law, Sociology, Economics, English, Principles of Business, Social Studies and Office Procedures, as well as courses in leadership, human trafficking, court prosecution, cyber detection, rape investigation techniques, internal corruption, handling domestic violence, and conflict resolution, among others.

However, her career as a female police officer has not been a bed of roses. When she initially joined in 1983, there were very few women in the force, and they were given the more mundane and trivial duties. Supt Jacobs is of the opinion that since then, attitudes toward women in the force have improved significantly.

“There has been a revolution. When I joined, we had about 27 women, if so much. Our duties were to go out on every pedestrian crossing,” she recalled.

“If a child was lost in town, we will have that child until we get on to the parents and hand over the child. And whenever there was a matter of any sexual [abuse], the female police officer would take the victim to the doctor to be medically examined, and hand over the investigation to the male. But now, you have female police officers dealing with everything you can think about… we have females working in every department in the force…”

She also noted that, in decades gone by, female officers were not promoted above the rank of Assistant Superintendent. In 2011, the force saw the first female officer being promoted to Superintendent – Supt Stenelia Francis – and there are currently three female superintendents in the police force.

With the current ratio of men to women within the force at almost 1,000 males to just over 150 women, Supt Jacobs said that she would love to see more women joining the ranks.

“Anything a man can do, a woman can do it; and believe me a woman could even do it better!” she asserted. “The women are more dedicated… much more professional, and they take the job more seriously, as far as I have observed.”

Outside of her work, Supt Jacobs is a member of the Rights of the Child Committee, a member of the International Association of Women Police, and a devout Christian, worshipping at the Green Hill Evangelical Church. (JSV)

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