A month after he was asked to take forced vacation leave from the Royal Grenada Police force (RGPF), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Smith Roberts has again been humiliated by Acting Commissioner of Police, Winston James.
Roberts confirmed to THE NEW TODAY that he showed up for work on Monday after the end of the one-month leave and was instructed once again by James to go back home on more leave.
“He (James) told me that he is not yet ready for me and he is going to call me when he is ready”, Roberts told this newspaper.
A source close to the senior police officer quoted him as saying that he has never felt as humiliated as he did during the encounter with Acting Commissioner James.
He spoke of the island’s chief cop being dismissive of ACP Roberts and did not engage him in any discussion on his status with RGPF.
Roberts and another ACP Dowlin Bartholomew were unceremoniously sent on vacation leave through verbal instructions from James and not as is customary by the Public Service Commission (PSC), which is the legal body responsible for them as government employees.
According to Roberts, since he was requested to take vacation leave, he wrote to James seeking confirmation of the verbal instructions given to him to proceed on leave.
He said that James is yet to respond to the letter.
Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Keith Mitchell has given public support to the move by James against ACP’s Roberts and Bartholomew.
ACP Bartholomew is said to be due back to work in early September at the end of his forced vacation leave.
The two ACP’s have reportedly retained leading constitutional lawyer, Dr. Francis Alexis to look after their interest in the standoff with Acting Commissioner James.
A source close to the current administration said there is little or no chance of the two senior police officers returning to the force.
He also ruled out the possibility of the substantive holder of the post of Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson returning to the post at the end of his leave that he was forced to take until November.
Speculation is rife that the move against the senior police officers within the force is aimed at paving the way for some senior officers known to be aligned to the current government to be promoted into key positions within the Police High Command.
The former spy chief under a previous Mitchell-led NNP administration, Superintendent Anthony De Gale is tipped to become an ACP or the higher position of Deputy Commissioner of Police, a post currently held by Frank Redhead.