Police Commissioner Paul Rolle.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
THE country’s economic situation has caused the Royal Bahamas Police Force to have to fill vacancies “incrementally” and wait for sufficient funds to address shortages.
Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle told reporters yesterday that a few Chief Superintendents and Superintendents have received or will receive a letter advising them to begin their leave.
Back in April, the police chief indicated to The Tribune there was a need for additional promotions of Chief Superintendents and Superintendents during 2021 and 2022 to replace those due to retire during those same periods. His comments came in view of 68 senior officers going up the ranks in the force – explaining it was a part of his succession plan to have the best officers in the RBPF long after his May 2023 retirement.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an economic crisis for The Bahamas, which is still recovering financially from Hurricane Dorian. Yet, Commissioner Rolle said there is still a need to have enough officers in certain ranks, but the “ship has sailed” for more executive promotions this year.
“The Royal Bahamas Police Force, we have an establishment and as I restructured the force in trying to put a structure in place to manage the crime and keep the Bahamian people safe, that structure calls for certain amounts of ranks. We have just had promotions, for example, in the senior core, since that we already had two Chief Superintendents, who just yesterday, I served one his letter advising him to begin leave.
“Last month, there was one. I have two Superintendents that will be going home in June. They’ll be receiving their letters either today or tomorrow. I have another Superintendent who starts in September. Two in November, two in January – so we are really short.
“So we have to then replace those. We also have the lower level – the vacancies that exist is too much to do one time and we take into account the conditions that they are in the economy and so we would not be able to do all of them at once. So you have to incrementally try to get the numbers to where we want.”
Commissioner Rolle noted there are some austerity measures to curtail costs in the RBPF such as restoring old vehicles.
He said: “When you pass police headquarters, you see all of the motorcycles? Well they were vehicles that were written off and damaged. We have a team working over at the garage and we have restored them and that is now 17 cycles that have been restored that will go back into the fleet. You go to the police college and there were a number of vehicles that were destroyed in accidents. . .we are restoring those and putting them back into the fleet.”