Police passing out parade held in Grand Bahama

OFFICERS during the ceremony in Grand Bahama. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn

OFFICERS during the ceremony in Grand Bahama. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn


Tribune Freeport Reporter


The Royal Bahamas Police Force Training College made history hosting a Passing Out for 200 new recruits – the largest ever to complete police training at one time on Grand Bahama.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex on Friday for four Squads – A & F Squads 2022 and F & G Squads 2021, which also included 13 recruits from the Turks & Caicos Island.

Acting Minister of National Security Jomo Campbell attended and brought remarks on behalf of the Minister Wayne Munroe who was unable to attend. Also bringing remarks were Police Commissioner Paul Rolle and Trevor Botting Commissioner of Police from the Turks & Caicos Islands.

The RBPF is currently experiencing a shortage of Constables. The Turks & Caicos Police is also recruiting “quite hard” to also increase their numbers.

According to Acting Minister Campbell, government realised a deficit of 900 constables since coming to office. He stressed that recruiting more officers is critical to create safer communities throughout The Bahamas.

“Our government remains committed to protecting all citizens and residents, simultaneously meeting their needs by providing solutions to safety and security. Our approach to national security is aggressive to address the scourge of crime and illegal activities that plague various areas of our society. Our vision is to extend our efforts beyond punitive measures and seek a more fair and equitable society for all citizens, residents, and visitors alike,” he said.

Commissioner Paul Rolle said the training of up to 200 officers at one time is very significant for the RBPF. “This is historical as this is the first time ever, we are having four squads graduating in Grand Bahama and also training police officers from Nassau,” he stated.

Mr Rolle said the training provided officers also encompassed information, techniques, and strategies to tackle the complexities of the era that we are living in.

The recruits were trained in police sciences, firefighting, equipment operation, drill and deportment, social sciences, and were also provided practical hands-on instruction.

The commissioner told the recruits they have joined a noble organisation that has a rich legacy stemming from March of 1840 – about 182 years of excellence in service. He reminded them of sworn oath to serve the country and that must put their lives in the service of others.

He said that priority one of his Policing Plan is Transformational Training as the Royal Bahamas Police Force is a learning organisation.

“As a proponent of continued self-development and training, I urge you to take full advantage of what you learnt in the training school and be the best that you can be. I admonish you to never become complacent but seek to deliver service as a resourceful and professional police officer.

“I have no doubt that the Police Training College has competently prepared you for your professional life outside these walls. Beyond your initial training, keep the Forces’ guiding philosophy at heart and you can’t go wrong,” he stressed.

Commissioner Rolle also stated that they must serve the public with care, respect, and trust. “You must do your utmost to retain public trust and you must perform your duties in a manner which respects individual human rights, and which reflects fairness, sensitivity and compassion,” he said.

During a side interview with reporters, Mr Rolle indicated that they selected 100 from among nearly 2,000 applicants that were seeking to enlist in the Force.

“Last year we had advertised, and we had 1,800 applied to be enlisted. He said that they were able to find a good mix, including some with academic degrees, both Bachelor and Masters, as well as BGCSEs, and others who sat the police exam. “We train them and hope we recruit the best,” he said.

Commissioner Botting said that this is their second group of recruits that have been sent for training in Grand Bahama.

He said he is very pleased by the standard of training provided to their 13 recruits by the RBPF.

“The first group has grown strength to strength on the streets of T&C and I have no doubt that this (second) group will do the same,” he said.

“I am eternally grateful to the Commissioner and his team. We send our young men and women away from home for five months and it is a big deal for them to be away from their families, but they are so well trained and so well cared for,” he said.

Mr Botting said the relationship between the two police forces is echoing the relationship from government to government.

He explained that there are number of shared threats across the region that they are collaborating with the Defense Force and Marine Branches. “So, I just now this collaborative arrangement will give our countries a boost,” he stated.

Mr Botting, who has 40 years of policing, said today’s event is a special one.

He said they will continue send more recruits to the Bahamas for training.

According to the TCI Commissioner, their police force has just under 400 officers. “That is not enough even though we are a much smaller island,” he said, adding that they expecting to increase their numbers by 25 percent.

“We are recruiting quite hard now, he said. We also recruiting in the marine branch because we are aware of threats, we face in this region concerning trafficking and smuggling – together we are definitely stronger,” he said.

Commissioner Rolle thanked Mr Botting for entrusting his recruits to his team. He further noted that the Bahamas is hosting the Association of Urban Commissioner of Police at the Baha Mar Resort starting today. He said Commissioner Botting will also joining him in New Providence.

“I will be hosting that, and all Commissioners will be joining us, including persons from several agencies in the US, and the United Arab Emirate who have committed to being there,” he said.


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