Rolle takes over as chief of police as Ferguson bows out

Paul Rolle is sworn in as the newest commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Photo: Patrick Hanna/BIS

Paul Rolle is sworn in as the newest commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Photo: Patrick Hanna/BIS



AFTER a brief handover ceremony at Police Headquarters yesterday, Paul Rolle was sworn in as the newest commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Commissioner Rolle vowed to discharge his constitutional duties without fear, favour or influence. He noted public concern about the “minority of officers” who abuse their power, saying he and his leadership team will continue to investigate such complaints, taking firm and fair action where needed.

The ceremony, which had a handful of guests due to the country’s 24-hour curfew and social distancing policies, was attended by Governor General CA Smith, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames and the wives of the outgoing and incoming commissioners.

Dr Minnis promised to have a more elaborate ceremony and reception when the country relaxes the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We shall discharge our duties with courage, integrity and loyalty, being ever mindful of the changing environment with willingness to embrace just criticism and need for change,” Commissioner Rolle said of the force. “We solicit the continued support of the public, partnership and cooperation, as we seek to fulfill our mandate to keep all safe. The police cannot do this alone. We must all accept responsibility to cooperate with the police. In the words of Sir Robert Field, ‘The police are the public and the public are the police.’

“I am immensely conscious of public concern over the manner in which a minority of officers abuse their authority or perform their duties in an unprofessional way. I will, along with my senior executive leadership team, continue to monitor complaints and will take fair, firm and decisive actions where there are grounds to take disciplinary actions against any officer or member of the force. None of us are above the law and we must all be accountable for our actions.”

The new commissioner promised to fight the illegal gun and drug trades, as well as white collar crimes.

“Your Excellency we remain concerned for the proliferation of illegal firearms and the high level of gun crimes in our communities,” Commissioner Rolle said. “We have also taken note of the stubborn illicit drug trade which has existed in many different forms over the years. It is fueling much of the gun violence through criminal gangs and criminal enterprises which have taken the lives of far too many of our young men. The police will continue to serve and foster productive partnerships, nationally, regionally and internationally. Such partnerships are fundamental to our success, but citizens and residents must take responsibility for this carnage and work towards stopping it.

“Financial crimes such as fraud and embezzlement and identity theft, have been a pivotal issue in the global arena for decades. While authorities are constantly looking for ways to track down and prevent financial crimes, criminals are always developing innovative tactics in order to stay ahead. This continues to be of grave concern to law enforcement. We are equally concerned about laundering the proceeds of crime.”

For his part, Dr Minnis thanked outgoing Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson for his time leading the force.

“Commissioner Ferguson, a grateful nation thanks you for your leadership and stewardship of the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” Dr Minnis said. “We wish you well in your retirement and I offer you my gratitude and best wishes.

“Incoming Commissioner Rolle knows the force well, having served in a number of capacities including leadership within the CDU, the Police Training Academy and the Anti-Corruption Unit. “Your great task is to continue the work of reducing crime in our country, including through the use of policing measures and technologies that will help to prevent crime.”

Dr Minnis noted the new commissioner takes over at a pivotal time in the country’s history.

“You assume command during a national emergency that will require great leadership, sensitivity and unity of purpose and command,” Dr Minnis said.

“The country is looking to you and to the good men and women of the Royal Bahamas Police Force to help enforce our laws and the temporary emergency measures that will help us to combat the COVID-19 threat. I wish you well in your new command. You have my full support and that of the government of The Bahamas.”

Commissioner Rolle joined the RBPF in May 1983, his first assignment being the Southern Police Station. He previously was officer-in-charge of the Central Detective Unit. He was promoted to chief superintendent in 2014, and remained at CDU until 2016. During his tenure as officer-in-charge of CDU, he was instrumental in leading the successful conclusion of many serious criminal investigations and placing in excess of 2,400 cases before the Supreme Courts. In 2017, he was promoted to assistant commissioner and assigned the portfolio for anti- corruption. He was tasked with setting up and establishing the newly designated Anti-Corruption Unit.

The new police chief commended the officers, reservists and civilians he is privileged to lead.

He also praised his predecessor. “Commissioner Anthony Ferguson, you are my contemporary and confidant. We came through the ranks together – corporal, sergeant, inspector, ASP and then you pulled out and left me but I wouldn’t let you go far and I eventually served as your unexpected protégé in your cabinet. You have given me guidance and advice over the years. As you say farewell to this noble organisation today, I say a huge thank you publicly. May God bless you and keep you as you move on in your new endeavours.”

The outgoing commissioner said he felt it was just like yesterday when he became police chief. “I truly believe it is not the length of your service, but your legacy and the impact you made that counts,” Commissioner Ferguson said just before the handover.

He thanked Dr Minnis and Mr Dames for their support during his tenure.

He boasted of the transformation of the Police College, the reduction in the murder rate and the renovation of police stations which all came under his tenure. The outgoing commissioner joined the RBPF in 1980.


birdiestrachan 4 years, 2 months ago

No Social distancing here. Mr: Ferguson you are aware than more police killings occurred under you watch. than ever before.

The senior Police Officer that have been disrespected . Do they. matter.??

birdiestrachan 4 years, 2 months ago

They are as close as Pease in a pod. Roc wit doc says he does not drink. If he did he would have a excuse.

TalRussell 4 years, 2 months ago

ARREST, detain, charge and imprison - all pictured for blatantly ignoring 6' social distancing rule.
But who is to order arrest - being colony's comrade AG, should be boarding prison bus on his way Fox Hill.
Since both PM and Governor General, should also be passengers on-board prison bus, maybe the arrest order can be signed under seal colony's new Chief Justice. Comrade Brian. Just can't make this sh#t up. Just, can't. Nod once for yeah, Twice for no?

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 2 months ago

where's the police when you need them? someone should have pulled with a siren and a bullhorn

TalRussell 4 years, 2 months ago

Not sure comrade ThisIsOurs, but didn't bible warn about that special place reserved for those whose conscious have deteriorated to be jailing the Homeless for breaking their curfew.
This is terrible have pictured the very same faces of all the major signatory parties who think the Homeless be doing harm by sleeping out on the only home they know.
It's just too damn dangerous to even want trust same people's behaviour to be handling coronoavirus. Nod once for yeah, Twice for no?

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 2 months ago

all obese. except Mr & Mrs Rolle(?)

OriginalBey 4 years, 2 months ago

The thing is people don't know when they are at obesity levels based on their BMI but these are supposedly learned men and women. Hmmm...

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 2 months ago

The picture to this article is certainly worth a thousand words so I will hold my tongue.

birdiestrachan 4 years, 2 months ago

The senior officers who were treated disrespectfully cast a dark cloud over the horizon. they may not matter to persons in this picture. But they do matter to a Just God who always has the last say.

moncurcool 4 years, 2 months ago

Picture shows why all the emergency orders being imposed is crap. You make the law and then don't follow it. This can't be for real. How can you get mad at citizens for not following the orders when the people who bringing them believe they are above the orders.

Tribune: you need to raise this issue immediately at the next press conference. This smacks of disrespect and law breaking towards every Bahamian who is told to be locked down and stay home.

Rabbit 4 years, 2 months ago

DOCTOR MInnis you'll really should know better.

John 4 years, 2 months ago

It was a state of emergency. Had to get him gone in the middle of a world crisis, whilst the country and the world is on lockdown. Slip him out the backdoor.

sheeprunner12 4 years, 2 months ago

How did this new COP achieve FIVE promotions in three years?????? ………. He was a Superintendent prior to May 2017 ........ Can anyone else in the public service enjoy that kind of fast tracking??????? ............…. OR Kisses go by favour????

BONEFISH 4 years, 2 months ago

You don't know what is going on.You are a big time supporter.Bahamians love to play crazy and act fool.

hrysippus 4 years, 2 months ago

It is good to hear our most senior police officer announce that there will be zero tolerance for crime; I have enjoyed hearing this so many times before but still people are blatantly riding around on bicycles that have not been licensed and some do not even have a bell. This is a shocking disregard of our laws, how long will it be a;;owed to continue? I have even seem that some of the police bicycles are unlicensed. This is shocking to all right minded Bahamians.

moncurcool 4 years, 2 months ago

This picture is a clear sign that his so called zero tolerance for crime is nonsense. No social distancing. Also was the ceremony yesterday essential? Should those people have been out of their home for a ceremony and with more than 10 people? Funerals can only have 10 people but look at this non essential meeting numbers. Just saying. I could be wrong though.

TalRussell 4 years, 2 months ago

You think there's sufficient photographic justification for the comrade judge who imprisoned the Homeless man's that not to order his immediate release from Fox Hill Prison - would make mockery colony's criminal laws - or order the immediate arrest, charging and imprisonment of the colony's PM, AG, Security Minister, Chief Constabulary - along with PM's lesser minister creole language interpretation Frankie?
Likewise, shouldn't the same vacating of sentencing apply to all others who were fined $500 to $1,500 under the threat imprisonment if they default forking up monies to court. Nod once for yeah, Twice for no?

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 2 months ago

"#contacttracinginfo". cuz testing yesterday dont mean you clear today.... unless you stay at home

DDK 4 years, 2 months ago

No need to make it up Comrade, ya gats all da ewidence ya needs, right dere in dat pitcha🤣

DDK 4 years, 2 months ago

Not even a face mask, it almost maked you laugh till you weep.

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