Police Commissioner Paul Rolle.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
COMMISSIONER of Police Paul Rolle said he is putting in place a number of policies to clean up the public’s negative perception of Royal Bahamas Police Force.
His comments came as Americans continue to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed while being detained by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The incident has reignited the conversation about police brutality and accusations have been tossed by some Bahamians at the RBPF for unfair treatment.
Several suspects have also been killed by police this year.
The commissioner said yesterday that he recently reviewed the force’s professional standards. A dress code and social media policy are expected to be released soon while others are being revised.
“We have been addressing that and taken a more proactive approach to dealing with breaches of discipline in the Royal Bahamas Police Force and trying to clean that up and I think we’ve been making some good progress internally. You’re gonna see some things,” he responded when asked about complaints of unfair treatment by police.
“We’ve also been meeting with the Police Inspectorate. That is the process that we have ongoing but I’ve also put out a number of policies to kind of address the shortcomings, the breaches that were not really provided for. So I’m now codifying some of them so that officers can know their limitations.
“..There’s a whole compendium of legislations or what we call ‘for standing orders’ and I’m reviewing and revising many of those because times have changed and so we have to modernise them in order to address issues that we encounter today.”
His policing plan for 2020 is expected to be tabled in Parliament soon.
The police chief also had a stern warning to persons who have the intention of committing crimes.
He said: “Look, the reality is we are putting measures in place to prevent crime because we want the criminal element to know that we are going to be there. I expect some persons who may wish to commit crime and I want to discourage them. That’s why I could say that because we are going to be there and we’ll deal with it.”
The Ministry of National Security signed a contract with AE Tactical in January for 400 body worn and dash cameras. It was expected the equipment would be used by police officers this year, but Commissioner Rolle admitted the process has been slow due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Real-Time Crime Centre that we have, we entered into COVID and that affected the suppliers and the ability to move forward at the pace which we wanted that slowed us,” he explained.
“I think we would’ve taken possession already of some of the equipment we’re just waiting for the completion of the Real-Time Crime Centre... it’s almost finished.”