By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
AGAINST alarming homicide numbers and weeks of uncertainty over the police force’s hierarchy, National Security Minister Marvin Dames yesterday skirted questions on the status of Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade amid speculation that he is considering a top foreign post.
In the weeks since these reports first surfaced, Commissioner Greenslade has remained out of the spotlight.
“We are in the business of governing,” Mr Dames told reporters outside of Cabinet on Tuesday morning.
“I have no comment on that, as I continue to say, we are in the business of governing. We are in the business of running a country and that is what we will continue to do and as we move ahead and as changes are made when it is appropriate, we will address those changes. But right now, I have nothing to say about that.”
In mid-July, The Tribune reported that it is understood that Commissioner Greenslade has been offered the post of high commissioner to London and was set to be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ferguson.
It was also reported that Deputy Commissioner Emerick Seymour, now in charge of Freeport, will be transferred to Nassau as deputy commissioner.
As these reports surfaced, former Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Thompson told The Tribune he had also heard rumours that Commissioner Greenslade was being “forced out” of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. He said he was “very disappointed” by the reports.
Last month, former Free National Movement Chairman Darron Cash said he was troubled by Mr Dames’ silence on the matter.
Mr Cash suggested the optics of removing the police chief would make it hard for his successor to seem to be politically neutral.
He insisted that Commissioner Greenslade should not leave his post quietly and should instead force the government to fire him.
Mr Cash at the time added if there is justifiable cause for the commissioner to be removed, the government must inform the public.
Despite these views, however, there has been no clarification on how the government would move forward with Commissioner Greenslade.
Since the May 10 general election, there have been 30 homicides, according to The Tribune’s records.
When asked about what the Minnis administration was doing to mitigate violent crime, Mr Dames promised “scientific and methodic approaches” were on the way, contending that issues facing the country had not manifested overnight.
“As I continue to say, this is a problem that has manifested itself over the decades and it’s a result of our failures as families (and) as Bahamians; and so the sooner we come to grips with that, the better we will be,” the Mount Moriah MP said.
“And that’s why we as a government continue to say that we intend to take a multi-agency approach to this problem; it will not be ad hoc. Most people would like to see a quick fix, we all would certainly, but this is not a quick fix thing.”
Mr Dames said the Minnis administration is in the process of bringing bills to Parliament that will contribute to what the government is hoping to achieve in the long run.
He said the bills will bring about programmes that will see the community, the police and all stakeholders playing meaningful roles in assisting and reducing the problems with violent crimes.
“We are very confident once these programmes are implemented, the programmes should go a long way in helping address the problem. We will put in place measures, and measure the success of these programmes.
“Oftentimes we introduce programmes and we tout how successful they are, but we have never done anything in measuring whether they are successful or not, or whether they are in need of adjusting.
“We will put in place scientific and methodic approach to address this problem but one thing is certain whatever we do moving forward, we will invite all spheres of society.”