Chairman of the Police Welfare Association (PWA), Sergeant Adrian Peters believes he is now being made to pay the price for being brave enough to publicly challenge the decision of the police hierarchy.
Sgt. Peters has been slapped with a number of criminal charges weeks after he was embroiled in a confrontation with Acting Commissioner of Police, Winston James on the case of three Police Officers who were denied study leave to attend St. George’s University (SGU).
The controversy surrounds Woman/Sergeant 20 Michelle Bedeau who was an Instructor at the Police Training School, Woman/Police Constable 593 Thomas, and Police Constable 577 Matthew.
The denial of study leave came into the public domain after the applicants on January 11 were informed by the Scholarship Desk at the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development that their applications were put on hold pending signatures from their supervisors.
It is alleged that Acting Commissioner James informed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education that he is not signing the approval forms.
The affected officers were reportedly told by the hierarchy at the force that the matter is now in the hands of Commissioner James, and that they did not follow police procedure although there is no published policy on the issue.
Three months later, Sgt. Peters is now being dragged before the law courts on charges of money laundering and fraud in the name of the Commissioner of Police.
The middle-ranked Police Officer was detained last week Thursday by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and on the following day was slapped with two counts of money laundering, and two counts of fraud by false pretense.
The charges against Sgt. Peters, who is due to make his first court appearance on May 9, arose out of an investigation into his study leave abroad that ended in 2009.
During his detention, he was kept overnight at the St. Paul’s Police Station before bail was granted to him in the sum of $100,000 with two sureties.
Sgt. Peters left the island to do a first degree in Cuba, before moving over to Midwestern State University in the United States where he obtained a Bachelor’s in Foreign Languages.
Peters rose to the rank of Sergeant of Police after he obtained his scholarship, while he was still in Cuba.
The Police Sergeant also holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching Foreign Languages, Post Graduate Diplomas in Curriculum Development, School Administration and Testing.
A close associate told this newspaper that Peter’s wife who is in the United States believes he is being persecuted because he took a stand against the police administration.
He said the wife is not aware of anyone approaching Peters to pay back whatever monies he was overpaid by the State while abroad.