Words cannot express the hurt and disappointment I feel with the manner in which this noble institution is being managed under the “figure head” of Mr. Winston James O.B.E.
After reading an article in the Grenada Informer newspaper, dated February, 5th 2016, under the caption, “CONCERNS OF VICTIMISATION in the RGPF, ” the article speaks of the transfer of two Sergeants from the Police Training School as a result of standing up against the Commissioner’s refusal to sign documents allowing officers to be considered for government scholarships.
The force is governed by regulations, standing orders, policies and of course the supreme law, the Constitution. Policies are policies and must be respected but my biggest problem is the inconsistency and the convenient way in which they are enforced and become applicable.
They must not be applicable for some police officers and applicable to others. Ironically, this “uncalled for” transfer comes about just as the RGPF “begins the process of reviewing standards”.
There is a transfer policy that should be followed. It is not; instead, police officers are transferred at the whims and personal fancies of the Human Resource Department which on most occasions make it looks as if it is done by the Commissioner of Police.
The term “figure head” is used in the first paragraph purposely, due to the perception across the force, that the present Commissioner is just a rubber stamp and that there are persons behind the scene calling the shots.
It is hard to conceptualise the fact that a man who came through the ranks and with such a long distinguished service in excess of four decades, he would allow himself to be used to allegedly victimise others.
Then again, for those of us who came through the service with the acting Commissioner, we would know that he was not much of a leader!
He was a very good Investigator and Intelligence Officer but never possessed the charisma nor traits of a good leader.
With that in mind, it is not difficult to believe that the issue of victimisation due to poor leadership would occur right before his face, if not him in some cases but by a few of them around him.
Victimisation can take several forms and can be seen in all its forms in the RGPF, under the present Regime. The sore issue of promotion is another factor. Never in the history of the RGPF, have so many police officers taken the Commissioner of Police to court and moreover, came out victorious.
There is also a promotion policy based on the Police Regulations and for the senior ranks, the Public Service Commission Rules and Regulation.
The issues of seniority, merit, performance, discipline etc. are things of the past. The high levels of maliciousness, self-preservation and abuse of authority that exist in this noble institution have led to a total defilement of good sense of fairness those in authority.
One of the most glaring examples is where a senior ranking officer was suspended by the Public Service Commission, was almost charged criminally for domestic abuse, had to undergo counseling and within a couple months after resuming duties was promoted.
Another example is where a senior Sergeant has been in charge of a department; excellent all round police officer, was overlooked whereas others whom he was in charge of, were promoted.
The RGPF has very qualified and competent police officers who can take this Organisation forward but these are the police officers who are marginalised and overlooked.
Committed and competent officers, such as Superintendent Belfon, Superintendent Curwen, ASP Lee, Sergeant Peters, Sergeant Glen Charles and Constable 204 John, to name a few.
Why is Adjunct Don McKenzie, a senior ranking officer not part of the Administration of the force at Police Headquarters? Why did it take over seven years so he could have been given a badge of rank?
The Prime Minister and Minister of National Security with others are proud to beat their chest and say Grenada is still one of the safest places in the Americas. This is so now because of the legacy left behind by past Commissioners like Mr. Nestor O’Gilvie, James Clarkson and to a lesser extent Willan Thompson.
If we are not careful, soon, this will be a thing of the past. A clarion and honest call is made to the public and private sector, NGO’s and all concerned citizens to take a careful, objective look into the affairs of the administration of the RGPF.
This call also goes out to the Chief Personnel Officer and the Public Service Commission to carry out their functions according to law and exercise fairness and sound judgements in their consideration for police who are recommended for promotion.
The call is also made to the Commissioner, to do the noble and right thing while he still has the opportunity. Doesn’t matter how long you rally, sir, the time must come when you must leave and go home on retirement.
It is the view that the Force is worst off now than when you first left. Stop the victimization and the abuse of power and treat people with dignity and fairness.
“People are central to anything you do…….”, those were the words of Deputy Commissioner, Franklyn Redhead.
Ex Superintendent of Police