Address by the Commissioner of Police
Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho
At the Badging of the Cadet Training Program
Monday 10th July 2017
Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all
Today we mark another important milestone as we embark on laying the platform to safeguard the integrity of the policing profession.
Cadets, this program is designed to develop officers for leadership roles at an early stage. With all of you being the recent products of the last Basic Recruit course, you can say that we have thrown you into the deep end of policing so to speak.
You have been appointed as the Commissioner’s Cadets and this is a title that I expect you to respect.
Out of the 130 recruits that marched in with you six months ago, we felt that you displayed the attributes of becoming future leaders of the Fiji Police Force.
In essence we have placed our trust in you and said, you are the crème de la crème who can be moulded into promising young officers.
In our eyes you all possess the right attitude, knowledge and skills to be catapulted into the senior hierarchy and hold leadership positions.
I must caution you though!
Be prepared to face obstacles along the way that will challenge and could possibly derail your focus and ability to complete the 38 months of training.
It has happened to others and you need to be aware that it can happen to you.
It is imperative that you leave everything aside and focus on what is ahead of you, because this really is a once in a life time opportunity.
Cadets, being part of this institution and the policing profession is both exciting and rewarding.
You’ll agree with me that it has become even more exciting and rewarding following the 2018 National Budget announcement.
The Government of the day has heard our pleas and met our request for an adjustment in salaries and more resources.
Government would have needed a very good reason to grant us the increased allocation, and the unprecedented show of support means we must be doing something right.
In return, it is only right that we show our gratitude by working hard and producing the desired results.
As you progress along the course you will adopt a new outlook on the intricate nature of all that encompasses our operations and your role as potential leaders.
The management of the personnel and resources under your command is just one piece of the bigger picture and you will soon understand how one decision can impact the entire operations of our institution.
This is why I have taken a very strong stand against those deemed to be “leaders” or senior officers.
Some have let go of the reins and allowed those under their command to be the bosses.
This has led to junior officers using vehicles when they please, deciding when and what time to come to work or if they want to come at all, and disregarding the processes that are clearly specified with how to conduct their work.
From what I have come to realise, complaints against Police and our services arise from poor supervision.
And this puts a spotlight on leadership!
Cadets, you will be exposed to another level of training that will be intense and demanding. You will be thrown into new environments and the expectations placed on you to perform will be massive, especially with the label of the “Commissioner’s Cadets” hanging over you.
At times you will have to command officers who have served for decades and possess a lot more experience and it will be intimidating!
This is where you need to focus on the task at hand and not lose sight of the responsibilities that come with the rank you are striving for.
I will not sugar coat my expectations of this course!
Treat this opportunity as a privilege and don’t abuse it!
It is also vital that you don’t let this opportunity change you!
Humility is key!
You are being given a chance to attain a rank that others have spent decades to reach.
If you want to be commissioned at the end of the 38 months, learn to be humble and know that for now you are a student and that you are here to learn.
Don’t worry about what you will get at the end of the training, instead worry about what is coming up in the next half an hour or so, when these formalities are over.
Officers will be envious of the opportunity you have been given, so use your time well and don’t give me a reason to regret my decision in appointing you as one of the Commissioner’s Cadets!
I will be following this course closely and I look forward to hearing great things from you.
Cadets, I know you are all looking at this course as a means of personal growth and improving your life, but I ask you to always keep in mind the reason as to why you chose a career as a police officer.
We are here to serve and that should be entrenched in your mind during this training.
If you still haven’t grasped or have the passion to serve, you will not have an enjoyable career as a police officer, especially one holding a senior rank.
Because if you are to wear that Inspector’s rank at the end of the training, be ready for the extra hours, the extra calls at night and more demands from the people we serve.
No one said being a police officer would be a walk in the park, but like I say, this is the life we signed up for.
I wish you all the very best and I am optimistic that I will see all of you during the Commissioning ceremony at the end of the 38 months.
Vinaka vakalevu and May the Almighty God continue to bless the Fiji Police Force.