File Photo - RMPS at 2022 Queen's Birthday Parade.

Police Officers Asked to Redo Sargeant Promotion Interview Process After 8-Month Wait

Several officers in the Royal Montserrat Police Service are perturbed at a recent decision which requires them to redo the interview process for vacant Sargeant positions they applied for more than eight months ago.

The officers are also upset with the way they were told about the decision during the Friday. January 20, Commissioner’s parade.

One of the officers, who declined to be named, said rather than Police Commissioner Steve Foster telling the officers privately or owning the matter publicly, they learned of the decision from Superintendent Nigel Huddlestone, who is currently on a 12-month attachment to the RMPS from the Suffolk Constabulary.

After learning of the incident on Friday morning, Discover Montserrat reached out to the Governor’s Office who has responsibility for security to find out about the decision. Later that afternoon, the officers received letters dated January 18, that a decision was taken to reconduct the interviews and that a date would be communicated in a future correspondence.

Nine officers were interviewed in April 2022 but did not receive any official communication about the status of their application until November 2022. In the letter, dated November 11, 2022, Commissioner Foster said the interview process had been advanced and they would have a decision on the outcome very soon. He also apologised for the extended delay in communicating to the officers.

According to the unnamed officer, the interview panel submitted recommendations for the three vacant Sargeant positions to the commissioner at least three weeks after the interview, but no further action was taken.

Yesterday, the police officers, who initially applied for the position, were invited to a meeting which they were under the impression would be with Commissioner Foster to explain the issue with the promotion process. Instead, another senior officer met with them to explain “how to prepare for an interview”.

On Wednesday morning, the Governor’s Office responded with the following on behalf of the Governor and Commissioner of Police:

  • “All recruitment and promotion processes need to be fair, have a qualified panel and a timely transparent outcome
  • It was agreed on review that the process can be improved, and, in any case, it had been almost a year between the process and recommendations being made.
  • It was felt that it would be unfair to not take into account that individuals would have grown and learnt in this time and that requirements have also been updated.
  • It was agreed that the fairest and most transparent approach for all concerned would be to rerun the process, and all candidates were to be informed directly by the Police commissioner
  • It is unfortunate that the interview process was discussed ahead of the COP informing the candidates, this was a timing error, and each officer has now received individual notifications
  • The RMPS continues to work closely with Suffolk police service, who have provided resources to develop and refresh policies, review current processes, to support continuous improvement.
  • It is always the intention to ensure, where feasible, individuals are able to develop and recognise their full potential within the RMPS.”