Speculation is rife that Acting Commissioner of Police, Winston James might have another legal battle on his hands from disgruntled officers who were overlooked in the latest promotion within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that a few officers have already approached their lawyers for advice on mounting a challenge in court on the promotions.
A source who asked not to be named said that a senior member of the force who had information of the list had contacted a city lawyer in advance of the names becoming official.
He spoke of the academically qualified middle-level member of the force feeling strongly that he was being overlooked and not treated fairly.
On Monday, about 30 Police Officers were officially informed of their promotions to fill a number of acting positions within the force to be followed by confirmation letters from the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The event took place at the PSC at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room on the Carenage, St. George’s.
The most significant promotion was Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Edvin Martin to the post of Deputy Commissioner of Police – the same rank held by Frank Redhead.
ACP Martin reportedly left the island on Saturday to attend his graduation ceremony in England where he did a Master’s degree.
Last month, Prime Minister and Minister of Information, Dr. Keith Mitchell announced that Acting Commissioner James will soon demit office and a member of the rank will be selected as the replacement.
Apart from Redhead and Martin, the name of Superintendent Tafawa Pierre, the current head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has been bandied about as a possible replacement for James.
Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Superintendent Trevor Modeste along with former Immigration Chief, Jessmon Prince were appointed and confirmed as Assistant Commissioners of Police in the latest promotions.
Seven officers have also moved up the ranks to become Superintendents of Police – ASP Earl Dunbar who is attached to CID, along with Leroy Langaigne, Gregory Mathurine, Solomon Stafford, Brian Hurst who is the Officer in charge of the Police Band, Glen Paul, and Officer in charge of the Community Relations Department, Sylvan McIntyre.
Eleven Inspectors including Simon Dickson from the Drug Squad, Linford Kingston at the Traffic Department, Doyle Stanisclaus, Nola Lewis, Wayne Wilson, Holly George, Terrence Julien, and Bernard Nelson who is a member of the Prime Minister’s Security Outfit have moved up to Assistant Superintendent of Police.
In addition, sixteen Sergeants of Police have been promoted to the rank of Inspector of Police.
They include Linford Cummings of the Drug Squad, Andy Lewis, a member of the Police Band, Rondell Baptist of the Traffic Department, Raymond Lockiby and Terrence Mason who are both working at FIU, as well as Garson Gill and Reginald Sylvester who are both attached to the Criminal Investigation Department, Trevor Rodney who was recently Officer in charge of the Community Relations Department (CRD), and Geraldine Garraway who is also attached to Community Relations.
CRD has confirmed to THE NEW TODAY newspaper that a second phase of promotions from the rank of Constable to Sergeant is to take place in the coming week by Acting Commissioner James.
“He (James) wants to do a collective announcement where he does his own promotion of the junior ranks, and he will double the promotion from the seniors of the public service,” a source close to the Commissioner said.
Another source who did not wish to be identified said while he is not aware that there are disgruntled members of RGPF, promotion will or is never accepted by everybody.
“I cannot confirm that there are people who are disgruntled at this moment,” he said.
“There can always be some people who are not satisfied who may think that other persons should be in a particular position and it will go on possibly for a period of time until the dust is settled,” he added.
In 2007 six Police Officers took Acting Commissioner James and the PSC to court challenging the promotions.
The court ruled in their favour and eventually the disgruntled Police Officers were promoted.
The latest batch of acting positions among the Police Officers is for one year, ending in December.