“My aim is to remove senior officers from the headquarters, reinstate them in regions. When based regionally they will be able to take charge of their regions and stations. This will reduce pressure on the Commissioner of Police as they will be his representatives in those regions. They will be in a better position to supervise their officers and hence take ownership of their regions,” he said.
He urged both junior and senior officers for their cooperation and to lead by example; take ownership and responsibility irrespective of their regions, stations or units; carry high their motto which is ‘Service without fear, favour, affection and ill-will’ and to consider everyone equal before the law.
Elaborating on these objectives, Mr Labonte said just like the military, the police force is a disciplinary organisation and therefore as members of a disciplinary force, the officers should be disclipined which will earn them respect.
On training, Mr Labonte said the training of the whole police force will be relooked into.
As for community policing where police officers will be more visible on the streets and in the community, the Commissioner of Police said policing is never done in police stations.
“It is about going out to the public,” he said.
With regard to effective use of resources he said it is not only about physical ones but also human.
As for new strategies he is applying, senior commanders and officers will be posted as regional commanders in all the regions. A Seychellois consultant has been contacted to set up a Seychelles Police training curriculum to review policing procedures and practices. This is through former senior police officer Tite Morin, who has been assigned as consultant for training. For visible policing Andre Valmont, also a former police officer, has been called on as consultant advisor. Both former senior police officers left the force as assistant commissioners of police.
New appointments of other past senior police officers who have either retired or left the force, have been made. Superintendent Benjamin Zab has been appointed as Instructor and Commander of the Seychelles Police Academy. Superintendent Jacques Valentin, who is presently working at the Central Police station on a temporary basis mentoring the recruits, will be the one responsible for the patrol of Hangard Street, Victoria Market as part of his responsibilities.
The other major department in the force is for human resource and budget management headed by director general Angele Lebon.
Mr Labonte said final touches will be made to the structure by latest early January 2018.
“This is because plans have already been made for the festive season therefore he does not want to disrupt things by pulling out commanders assigned to various tasks during that period,” he said.
Units under DCP Barbe’s department are a secretariat, commercial brand, assets and financial investigations, family support squad, child protection, CID, summons unit, tracking team, administration, Interpol, legal services, criminal intelligence, VIP.
The Visible Policing and Special Operations, which has two components – regions and cluster -- also has a secretariat.
“When you are in the police force you must lead by example. You must take ownership. That is why we have put you in charge. That is why you were promoted to the ranks you are now carrying. Take ownership and responsibility of your respective regions, stations or unit. Our motto is ‘Service without fear, favour, affection or ill-will’. Exercise your powers by always having that motto in the background. Do not fear. Be impartial. Treat people equally. Everyone is equal before the law,” said Mr Labonte.
The Commissioner of Police also met lower rank officers in the afternoon. He will go to Praslin and La Digue during the weekend.