COMMISSIONER of Police Paul Rolle.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
COMMISSIONER of Police Paul Rolle admitted the force has seen the level of discipline reduce over the years, something he wants to restore to higher levels.
“The discipline over the years we’ve seen a reduction simply because I think we should have the training with particularly the sergeant and that particular aspect where the discipline has eroded. I’m trying to bring it back,” he told reporters yesterday.
While speaking at Paul Farquharson Conference Centre at police headquarters, he told the audience that this an “extraordinary time” to be a police officer.
According to him, it is necessary to respond to the calls from citizens, residents, and businesses for better service. He pointed to public awareness at its highest due to round the clock press coverage and social media. He added: “The public demands a police force that is responsive to needs. . .particularly where quality of life exist. Over the last few years though, we have moved the goal post of discipline in the Royal Bahamas Police Force and it is my intention to realign the markers so that the practice of discipline, as we knew, it is returned.”
He explained the expectations and tasks of corporals and sergeants in upholding certain standards. “New corporals must accept their responsibility as first line supervisors and (perform) the task required to ensure that every constable fully understands his or her role in this organisation as I believe some have lost their way plus we’re going to train you with those supervisory skills that are required for you to do your job,” Commissioner Rolle said.
“….Sergeants you are the disciplinarian of the force. You must be to work early and be prepared to take action when necessary. For too long, breaches in discipline have been allowed to go unchecked. You are also the quality control officer for the Royal Bahamas Police Force.”
The commissioner called sergeants “the backbone” of force and the “most feared rank” as they play a pivotal role in keeping the organisation together.
He also spoke about the need to have more officers as there is a shortage - a need for 300 constables.
Commissioner Paul Rolle’s policing plan that was tabled in the House of Assembly last week noted 35 senior police officers and 90 contracted officers are expected to retire soon; 275 officers are also expected to recruited during the year.
He told the press that he would like to increase some of the officers in some of the Family Islands.
“With Nassau, we’re almost where we want to be but we’re not there yet…and we’ll possibly never be there but thing is to make a step towards it as we have retirement you gotta keep placing them,” he said.
“..Many of us who joined in the 80s, you could appreciate the clock is running and I recall when I graduated there was a period of about four to five years when there was no recruitment. That’s what is the scary thing for me right now because there’s going to be almost an avalanche when those in my era leave and so if we don’t act now you’re gonna have a big vacuum which is going to be almost 250 to 300 officers and so to head that off I’m trying to fix it because I know it’s coming…You’ll see that in about two-three years.”