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Officers Sent On Special Assignment Return In Restructure

POLICE Commissioner Paul Rolle.

POLICE Commissioner Paul Rolle.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE Royal Bahamas Police Force is in the process of restructuring with the return of three high-ranking officers who were controversially sent on special assignments in late 2019 and early 2020 after returning from forced vacation leave.

RBPF Commissioner Paul Rolle explained yesterday that Assistant Commissioner Clayton Fernander, Assistant Commissioner Leamond Deleveaux, and Assistant Commissioner Kendal Strachan were all set to take up key portfolios now that they are back on active duty.

ACP Deleveaux is heading criminal proceedings and prosecutorial control.

ACP Fernander will take on the force’s intelligence management portfolio and ACP Strachan has been assigned the operations management and tactical support portfolio.

“I am extremely pleased to have these assistant commissioners rejoin the senior executive leadership team as we continue to address the scourge of crime, drugs and the proliferation of firearms on our streets,” Commissioner Rolle said as he spoke at a press conference where crime statistics were revealed.

“These men are well respected and hold a wealth of knowledge and experience which will definitely be an asset to the team.

“Notably Clayton Fernander has extensive experience in criminal investigations and operations. Leamond Deleveaux has vast experience in policing throughout the force and prosecutions. Kendal Strachan has extensive experience in criminal investigations both locally and internationally where he is well respected.

“I enthusiastically welcome these honourable men to make a positive and impactful difference in our country as we rebuild and as we move forward.”

The three senior officers were among several who were directed to take vacation leave in 2019. Although the former Minnis administration justified the vacation policy by citing fiscal measures, the officers believed that the administration simply wanted to sideline them.

When their vacation leave ended, they were sent on special assignments for a year.

Asked why they were transferred back to the force after previously being reassigned to government ministries, the commissioner said: “I don’t think I understand the question. I brought them back and I’ll leave it right there.”

When he spoke, ACP Fernander said he was pleased to be back in office.

He said the new crime figures highlighted the fact that the fear of crime was still prevalent among citizens.

ACP Fernander said: “As mentioned by the commissioner with respect to the crime stats you can see that the fear of crime is still out there and we intend as the commissioner mentioned to be consistently out there.

“In order to reduce the fear of crime out there I believe that number one, the presence out there with the police has to be consistent. Number two, response times to crime and once the presence is out there (and) the response time (is improved) either we will catch the culprits in action or we will catch them moving away.

“The third thing is follow-ups. That’s with members of the community (and) their complaints. You have to keep them up to date as to what is going on with respect to their complaints. “Follow through straight to court and even after.

“So, we are going to stay focused with that to move the fear of crime from the community.”

ACP Fernander said he would also like to see the reinstatement of a firearms court. “As mentioned by the commissioner, crime committed by firearms is too high out there and I will recommend to the commissioner that we should move back to the gun court just to focus on the gun matters that appear before the court because there is only police witnesses.

“I see no reason why within a week once you’re arraigned within a few days the matter comes up. It’s only police witnesses in that and I believe that could help and assist with the presence of weapons out there and to go after those individuals who continue to bring firearms in the country.

“So, I want to end with this and say to the Bahamian people and also our commissioner that Assistant Commissioner Clayton Fernander (is) in for duty.”

For his part, ACP Strachan said he looks forward to collaborating with all to ensure the safety of the community.

Comments

sheeprunner12 3 months, 1 week ago

Does Paul Rolle have a choice in this matter. He answers to Gravy Train Davis ..... Gatta suck it up

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