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Police Farce: Audit Exposes Rbpf

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames in the House of Assembly. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames in the House of Assembly. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

RESEARCHERS who conducted a manpower audit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force flayed last year’s promotional exercise in their report while revealing the top-heavy Force needs 791 more constables to be more effective.

The audit said last year’s promotional exercise just days before the 2017 general election contravened policing policy when former police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade participated in the interview process.

“The Commissioner of Police headed the Promotion Board (that interviewed officers) instead of the Deputy Commissioner who is mandated by policy to assume this role,” the report, tabled by National Security Minister Marvin Dames, told the House of Assembly yesterday.

“This portion of the process was initially designed to give a certain degree of impartiality on the boards so as to be devoid of the commissioner’s input.”

More disturbing was the vacuity of the interviews conducted, a process that left officers “baffled”.

“One officer said: ‘When I got into the interview I was asked if my shoes were clean and then an interviewer made a joke, after which I was told that the interview was finished,” the report said.

“A sergeant said: ‘There was no reference made to my job performance, in fact, I was asked how my mother was doing and then I was dismissed.

“An inspector stated: ‘We were brought into the interview room in a group of four and, all asked, how we were doing and then the interview ended.”

Researchers concluded that some officers “may or may not have been promoted justly/unjustly due to the lack of any systematic proof that they were the most qualified candidates. As for individuals not promoted, they may or may not have been justly/unjustly denied promotion as no systematic process was followed. Based on these comments it is unclear how officers would have had an opportunity to interview for promotions if they were not properly assessed during this process.”

Researchers added: “There is much cause for concern as a result of the last promotion exercise in particular, as there appears to be inconsistent practices, some of which were in violation of the Police Act. The effects of poor decisions and unfair practices often have lasting effects and are most detrimental to the morale of young officers... Not because an officer has been on the force for 20 years means he is suitable for an automatic promotion. There is no underlined principle which governs this process or any reasonable link between job descriptions for each post which should be the benchmark for promotion from one rank to another. While policy exists to allow for impartiality in promotional exercises, the policy wasn’t followed in the last two instances.”

The report’s findings may not surprise many Bahamians. There was heavy criticism last year when 851 officers were promoted on the eve of the general election, many critics believing the action was politically motivated.

Nonetheless, researchers said the exercise only compounded the RBPF’s problem of over-saturation at the senior ranks. Researchers said in the last decade or so there has been an explosion in the ranks of senior officers without any reasonable explanation.

Between 2011 and 2017 the number of chief superintendents increased by 2200 percent; likewise, the number of superintendents increased by 212 percent, from 33 to 103.

As part of their analysis, researchers assessed how much officers are necessary at each rank. Currently, the force has one more deputy commissioner than is necessary, they concluded; it has two more senior assistant commissioners than necessary, four more assistant commissioners than necessary, 12 more chief superintendents than necessary, 13 more superintendents than necessary and two more assistant superintendents than necessary.

While there has been an increase in senior ranks, no value has resulted from this, researchers concluded.

“Despite the force ebbing top heavy, very little, if any, of the strength in numbers is translating into evidence-based leadership which would allow the agency to keep pace with 21st century policing leadership,” the report said.

“Officers as they are promoted should add more value with reference to increased knowledge and core competencies, relevant to the higher ranks. Consequently, despite having the highest complement of officers in senior ranks there is no conceptual transfer of knowledge to improve the agency’s overall processes and effectiveness.”

On the other hand, the force had 837 constables when the report was compiled but needs 791 to better protect Bahamians. Researchers said the consequence of an inadequate number of junior officers is that junior officers in service now “are at risk of related stress factors due to physical threats of violence, high speed chases, and general exposure to dangers which are further hampered by work schedules and physical environments. With the shortage of front-line officers, as indicated by the strength, the threat of work role overload in which officers may feel fatigued and overwhelmed increases.”

Among other things, the shortage has affected the RBPF’s intelligence gathering capabilities, with researchers noting: “…Areas of policing such as shootings, mobile and foot patrols inclusive of traffic stops, intelligence gathering and stop and searches are not recorded and analysed.”

Attrition remains a significant problem for the force.

“Between January 2016 and September 2017, 145 junior officers exited the system,” according to the report, noting the number of departing officers is set to increase by 33 this year when some officers retire.

The report was created by the Research and Development Section of the Ministry of National Security.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 1 week ago

Unbelievable. And Greenslade is now living in the lap of luxury in London.

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DDK 1 week ago

Unfortunately, very believable and very sickening. That transfer to London was, and still is, ludicrous at best.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week ago

Marvin Dames and Hubert Minnis must think we are all buffoons. But these two are the only real buffoons if what is said and inferred about Greenslade in the report tabled by Dames in the HOA is true. After all, if the report is true we must ask ourselves how is it Minnis, Turnquest, Dames and Darren Henfield (Minister of Foreign Affairs) are not each proposing that former the former commissioner of police (Greenslade) be immediately recalled from his cushy and highly lucrative diplomatic posting in London pending the outcome of a full investigation into the allegations that he engaged in egregious misconduct and wrong doing? Could it be that Minnis, Turnquest, Dames and Henfield perceive Greenslade to have engaged in no misconduct or wrongdoing during the unnecessary huge promotion exercise of police officers in the run up to the last general election? Greenslade has already responded to the allegations made in the report about his purported misconduct and wrongdoing by saying Minnis, Turnquest, Dames and Henfield should all put up or shut up!

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Tarzan 1 week ago

But let's just ignore the responsibility of the PLP crooks who put him in office and sustained this ludicrous rape of the public treasury for the past eight years.

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Voltaire 1 week ago

Well_mudda_take_sic - on what grounds? Unfortunately, none of this is illegal. They should remove Ellison from his cushy post, sure, but aside from that they can't make him answer for anything. We should be calling for them to outlaw this kind of blatant political fixing to prevent such behavior in the future, but right now, legally speaking, there is no "egregious misconduct and wrongdoing". Its just another day in the Bahamas.

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joeblow 1 week ago

...but there certainly are moral and practical consequences for these unnecessary promotions. It effectively neutralizes the efficiency of the force, adversely affecting us all!

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Voltaire 1 week ago

Precisely why we must push the government to make such political corruption illegal.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week ago

A police commissioner takes a solemn oath of office and with it comes a fiduciary duty to the people of the Bahamas. If the report is true, Greenslade would have been duplicitous with the last Christie-led PLP government in needlessly hiring and promoting huge numbers of unqualified and/or unsuitable police officers to higher rank, at an outrageously enormous cost to honest and hardworking Bahamian taxpayers. That being the case, it certainly was unconscionable for Minnis and Dames to have arranged (and continue) to allow Greenslade's cushy and highly lucrative diplomatic posting in London. We can only assume there is no truth to the report table in the HOA if Minnis, Turnquest, Dames and Henfield do not now demand that Greenslade be removed from his diplomatic post, and possibly certain of his overly generous retirement benefits. Minnis promised the Bahamian people their would be real consequences for government officials who breached the oath of their office and their fiduciary duty to the Bahamian people. Minnis is a useless PM if he makes idle promises and has no real teeth!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week ago

Cleaned up ...... no truth to the report tabled in the HOA if Minnis, Turnquest, Dames and Henfield do not now demand that Greenslade be removed from his diplomatic post, and possibly certain of his overly generous retirement benefits be reduced. Minnis promised the Bahamian people there would be real consequences for government officials who breached both the oath of their office and their fiduciary duty to the Bahamian people. Minnis is a useless PM if he makes idle promises and has no real teeth!

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ohdrap4 1 week ago

“One officer said: ‘When I got into the interview I was asked if my shoes were clean and then an interviewer made a joke, after which I was told that the interview was finished,” the report said

.I do not doubt that. This method of promotion happens everywhere where there is not a family business. In which case the relative of the owners are promoted.

I once attended a going away party for a particularly incompetent individual. One of the top bosses said: Ms. XXX, you are irreplaceable. I thought to my self: Thank Heaven she is.

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Aegeaon 1 week ago

See? Everyday, Gangland Bahamas wins and has one step closer to having this country as a Narco-State. Yet the police is paralyzed and the Defense Force pacified.

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joeblow 1 week ago

The only way to fight corruption on this country is to do it China style---long jail sentences or firing squads for politicians!

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TalRussell 1 week ago

Ma People's Public Purse Comrades, and in conclusion may I please remind you to hire another 791 more constables receive they marching Royal Constabulary Policeman's Forces orders to join among the included ineffective... not single mention sending home even one lazy, corrupted, ineffective walk da beat policeman's and their officers bosses.... remember PM Minnis has special red shirts "uniformed" housing plan many same bad policeman's, and officers.

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bogart 1 week ago

These are issues that have been going on despite which government is in power or who is in Opposition in Parliament.

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vlmarshall 1 week ago

The results of this audit shows what most moderately educated Bahamians already know...that we do not get our moneys' worth when it comes to policing in this country. The front line is inadequate and for Gods sake I hope that the entry exams have been upgraded since I applied and passed the entrance exam back in 1997. I was amazed to see others in the exam room being unable to finish simple questions such as "don't cry over _ _". Not to mention years later to my surprise to see local gang affiliates wearing the RBPF uniform. We have also heard the stories of the promotional exercises, which are laughable at worst. Time have changed, criminals have changed, the technology and weaponry behind criminal actions have changed. Its time to cut ties with some of the senior officers that are incapable of passing a proficiency and health assessment and focus on training a new set of officers, with a different focus, a mindset to serve the Bahamian public and not just willing to intimidate and abuse persons in custody.

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birdiestrachan 1 week ago

One year later no games Dames is still in the blame game there is no need to call anyone and only ask them if their shoes is clean. just do not call them at all.

Mr' Greenslade was a good upstanding Bahamian who was disrespected by the FNM Government. The wicked know that they can put any foolishness out there
and the peoples time voters will run with it.

It is time for the man to move past the fact that Mr: Greenslade became commissioner and not him.

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birdiestrachan 1 week ago

Police FARCE a slip of the pen??. may be not.... I could not explain it any better myself. Good going no games. you all will learn soon enough that God does not sleep. He knew who Mr: Greenslade was and continue to be.

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BONEFISH 1 week ago

Blantant attempt by the PLP to win the election through mass promotion.A police with plenty chiefs and not much indians.

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John 1 week ago

And then taxpayers ride past that building every day. The one next to the Paul Adderley Building. All painted and paved and landscaped...But sitting idle and empty?

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John 1 week ago

I guess y’all miss one point. Despite the report saying that the force is top heavy due to the PLP’s Election Promotion, it also says that the force ALSO needs an additional 700 plus constables to carrying out its mandate of protecting the Bahamian people and Tal Russel’s Bahamaland. So while it was all nice and good that Mr. Marvin Dames can tell us about the promotions that Bahamians done know about Bahamians want to know what his plans are moving forward. How does he plan to address the shortage of 700 plus constables and when he gone stop he police dem from beating up on people innocent chirren. And did the good minister say how much this report cos the Bahamian people..to tell them mostly wat dey already know... and Day da police is beat up on people innocent chirren dem.

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hrysippus 6 days, 11 hours ago

the royal Bahamas police farce, . . . . ... Is not base on race and not on class, . . . . .. .... That shuffling buffoon wanted to keep his job, ,. . . . .. . Didn't care that our fiscal future got rob, . . . . . ...... He was a most corrupt and evil man, . . . . . . .... Buying votes with jobs his cunning plan, . . . . . .. So the police force have three hundred chiefs, . . . .. ..... But only twelve constables to catch them thiefs, ... . . . ...... It seems that commissioner was wrong in what he did, . .. . .... But This outside inquiry lifted the lid, . . . . . ... On this wrongful stew that that man hid, . . . . .... ...... Sitting London representing our Bahamas, . . . . ... Truer if we had some republican bananas.

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sheeprunner12 5 days, 9 hours ago

How can any police officer open his/her mouth and complain ....... when retired junior officers can retire and come back and make $60,000+ ........... WTF?????????

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