It is generally agreed that our Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) was set up to protect and serve. The only how this can be truly achieved is when we are able to appoint a proper Commissioner of Police (Chief of Police) who can think for himself/herself and continue to attract from the general populace – RESPECT.
We do not mean “respect” in the empty sense of the word but respect in the sense that the following dictates:
R – RECOGNIZE the inherent worth of all citizens – and not just NNP’ites within and without.
E – ELIMINATE favouritism within and without.
S – SPEAK with members of the Force – not at them…or encourage ‘ole-talk’ about those who don’t carry the same party card.
P – PRACTICE empathy for all – within and without.
E – EARN respect from ALL (within and without) through respect-worthy behaviours.
C – CONSIDER others’ feelings before speaking and acting.
T – TREAT everyone (within and without) with dignity and courtesy.
Having used this as my hypothesis for this open letter to you “goodly gentlemen”, I table the following as major concerns in this rumour-ridden Police Force since the coming to office of the New National Party (NNP) one year, six months and nine days (to date):
(i) The Force is being destroyed by recent happenings with no serious thought put into the promotion of officers at the management level.
Word on the ground within the Force is that Deputy Commissioner of Police – Franklyn Redhead – as qualified and useful (administratively speaking) as he has been and probably still is to the organisation, is the next to be marginalised.
Several of us may have mixed feelings about him over his reaction to the selection process of Willan Thompson as Commissioner before him during the last administration, but a fair measure of institutional memory rests with him.
We understand further that the next one to be marginalized will be the articulate ACP Edvin Martin – who portrays himself as a professional, action-oriented Police Officer. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe he came in a close second to Willan Thompson in the PSC’s selection process back under the NDC administration.
(ii) Under the watch of the current Acting Commissioner, a Senior Superintendent has beaten a woman in the Department – making it the third time this senior police officer has committed this act against a female in a police precinct. Other beatings reportedly took place at police stations in Carriacou and Grenville. The man is a sex predator and in need of help and therefore ought not be investigating crime when his responsibilities include investigating such criminal misconduct as committed also by him.
Is it any wonder Mr. PM and Mr. Acting Commissioner that no investigation was carried out relating to the “Sex Predators” (senior Police Officers) in the police force who according to a report in a local newspaper sexually harassed and even raped a Woman Police Constable?
Is it any wonder that another of the “Sex Predators” who should have been investigated is now appointed to act in a position with oversight on crime? Ouch!
(iii) On another matter. A Minister in the current Cabinet recently issued instructions in Sauteurs which over-rode those given by the police during the Carnival season. As we all know the Carnival Act governing the conduct of our national Carnival, gives the police special powers to act accordingly to bring about the safety to all.
Is this Minister the Minister of National Security? When last I checked, Mr. Prime Minister, you hold such charge. Why was he not charged for interference with the legal and lawful instructions of the police? My (well pressed tobacco) information is that when the police brought the matter to the members of the High Command of the Force, one of them said words to the effect: “This is Carnival, just play ball with the Minister”.
Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. Acting Commissioner, please do not forget that the laws are there for the police to enforce where and when necessary. They are not to be enforced against some and not against a select few with a particular colour pattern.
(iv) Since the February 19, 2013 general election, a number of “characters” who committed criminal offences to include fraud were brought back into the Force. Do you recall the incident where a police officer was caught stealing gas, investigated, found guilty after an internal investigation and was fired?
Today that convicted man is brought back into the Force and is now at the Fire Department at the Airport. What does the Acting Commissioner know about this man and his deeds? This man openly campaigned in the St. Patrick East for the NNP candidate in the 2013 elections and was upset and making all kinds of threats when he was not immediately brought back into the RGPF fold after the elections. He is now back but hiding among the firefighters at the airport.
(v) The son of a member of the Police High Command fought physically with another police officer who is his senior at the Bus Terminus in St. George’s. After he was sent home for good reason, he is today back on active duty within the Force.
Mr. PM and Mr. Acting CoP, too many ugly and evil seeds are being sewn in the ranks of the RGPF. If the Force continues to be run in this manner – as if to legitimize lawlessness within its ranks, please be prepared to deal with the catastrophic backlash.
Mr. Prime Minister – you have to remember that you are on record as saying that this time is for your legacy. So far so good – as your legacy continues to be consistent with that which you have been known for during your previous thirteen years (1995-2008).