PHOTO: Psychologist Dr. Cherése Godwin speaking with Superintendent Lyndon David following a recent police press conference (Spokesman Snap)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (JANUARY, 2018)–The Royal Christopher and Nevis Police Force has employed a psychologist for the first time in the person of Dr. Cherése Godwin, a citizen of the Federation and also the United States of America.

This reporter had the opportunity to have an exclusive chit-chat with Dr. Godwin following a recent police press conference held at the Police Training Complex in Newtown.

Before that interview, however, this media house posed a question to Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley concerning Dr. Godwin’s role during the question and answer segment of that media meeting.

“ Everybody would know that a police officer’s job is a very stressful job and so we are on a consistent basis exposed to not only the heinous crimes and violence that we turn out to but the stresses of the job. As a professional, we think the time is right for us to lend that particular support to our police officers so that they can be in the correct frame of mind. That mental capacity is really important for us to be able to do our work effectively and we were convinced that that is the way to go. We need to have somebody who can bring that particular training on board to give that support to our team,” he replied.

Dr. Godwin, during the one on one conversation with this reporter, was asked what she is hoping to bring to the police force.

“I hope to provide one on one counseling to the officers who may be dealing with high levels of stress or may have a higher occurrence of seeing maybe more traumatic incidences like deaths and just (other) serious situations. Beyond that, I hope to do more interpersonal training like how to respond to domestic violent situations, how do you deal with people and how do you talk to people to make sure there are no personal influences going into community policing.”

She added: “Beyond those things, making sure that the police are adequate to actually do their job. The recruits who are coming into policing and for the police who are already there, are doing ongoing evaluation…”

Asked to comment on the robotic perception that some members of the public have about police officers, she shared:

“When I look at a police officer, I look at a police officer like I would look at a lawyer and they have to follow the code of the law, the rules of the law as everyone else does but these are the persons that we look into as a society who are major role models of the law so if the law if is to be strict then those persons need to also be strict and set an example. It is natural to have deviation in society. If it doesn’t happen then we won’t know how far we could go or what we need to do in order to stay focused so I don’t think that they have to be robots per say I think they can be a bit more personal and show their personality but at the same time they need to abide by the rules of the land.”

This media house understands that Dr. Godwin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Clark Atlanta (CAU).  Furthermore, she attended the University of Pennsylvania where she obtained her Masters in Clinical Social Work from the School of Social Policy and Practice and graduated Cum Laude.

Also, she has earned her Ph.D from the prestigious Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work in the area of Social Policy, Planning, Administration and Social Sciences.

As gathered, since 2009, Dr. Godwin has done consulting work for the Ministry of Gender Affairs in St.Kitts and Nevis assisting in the development and evaluation of programmes such as ending violence against women and gender sensitization.