Some sections of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) are suspicious over the return of three former Police Officers into the ranks.
The three – Superintendent Anthony De Gale, Sergeant Carl Caton, and Sergeant Adrian Peters – have recently been brought back into the force within the past few weeks since the landside victory of the New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell at the polls on February 19.
De Gale who, up until July 2008 was in charge of the secretive Special Branch unit under the NNP watch, was at the centre of the controversy concerning the spying incident of a closed door meeting of the then opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Fingers were pointed at Supt De Gale as the man who ordered Police Constable #77 Kellon Noel to spy on an executive meeting of Congress at its former headquarters on Lucas Street, St. George’s on February 26, 2008.
The young police officer was apprehended. The NDC called in several sections of the local media to take out photos of the “captured” police officer.
A later search of his cell phone showed that while he remained in custody of Congress, he had received phone calls from a number allegedly belonging to Supt. De Gale.
Following the NDC victory at the polls, Supt De Gale was removed from Special Branch and subsequently left the island to live in the United States.
He was spotted in the country days before the February 19 polls. It is alleged in some NNP circles that he helped in the security of Dr. Mitchell hours before and after his victory at the polls.
De Gale left the island after the elections and confided to close aides that he would be back shortly.
The controversial police officer is back and has taken up a position at Police Headquarters in the administrative department on Fort George.
A well placed source told THE NEW TODAY Newspaper that Supt. De Gale is currently understudying Superintendent Ted Toussaint who is due to return to Haiti to continue with the UN Peace Keeping effort.
Speculation is rife that Supt De Gale’s name might feature as Commissioner of Police when the man in the seat as Acting Commissioner, Winston James stint comes to an end.
Sources within RGPF have also told this newspaper that eyebrows have also been raised over the return of Sgt Caton who resigned his position within the force in 2008 to enter frontline politics as a Candidate for the rural St. Patrick East against former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
He was defeated at the polls but was appointed to serve as a Senator and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture.
Sgt Caton is now back in the force and has taken charge of the Sauteurs Police Station, replacing Inspector Byron Clyne who has been transferred to the South St. George Police Station.
Clyne was among a group of Police Officers who had taken Acting Commissioner James, and the Public Service Commission (PSC) to court over the controversial police promotions in 2007.
A senior police officer said he viewed the replacement of Clyne with Caton as being politically motivated since he cannot see the logic behind removing a senior Police Officer and having him replaced by someone who is of a lower rank in charge of a police station.
He stressed that some of the rank and file members of RGPF hold the view that the Police Force is once again being directed by the political directorate and that
Acting Commissioner James might just be “a rubber stamp”.
“Whatever they (NNP) ask him to do, he is going to do it,” one member of the Force said.
The return of Peters who was dismissed from the Police Force into the ranks of the RGPF is also kicking up a storm.
Peters who went off to Cuba on study leave became the Vice-principal of a school in the Spanish-speaking country while he remained on the RGPF payroll.
A legal opinion was obtained from the Ministry of Legal Affairs, which advised the RGPF to dismiss Peters as a member of the force.
Peters is now on assignment at the Police Training School and it is suspected that he might soon be appointed as the Training Officer.
Speculation is also rife that Peters might be “eyeing” the post of Commissioner of Police on the basis of educational qualification in keeping with the requirements of the PSC.