The promotion given to Superintendent of Police, Tafawa Pierre to sit in the High Command of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) as Deputy Commissioner of Police should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been following this organisation in the past 15-20 years.
THE NEW TODAY is not questioning the intelligence or academic qualification of Supt. Pierre for any of the top jobs in the force but has a huge question mark on his ability to perform the job without falling to undue pressure from the Political Directorate of the day.
The issue goes even beyond this officer but many others in the Police High Command who got their promotions because of their known association or affiliation with the ruling New National Party (NNP) government.
RGPF is quite simply not an independent organisation and any regime change in Grenada will result in a change being made in the upper echelon of the force.
Just over a week ago, a top officer in the force made some rather interesting statements in which he alluded to the manner in which the powers of the Public Service Commission (PSC) are being curtailed at the expense of officers within the organisation.
The point was made that police officers no longer have the luxury of sending a letter to the PSC through the office of the Commissioner of Police.
There is now another layer in place – the office of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security which is the portfolio of current Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
It means that communications from the Office of the Commissioner of Police on promotions within the force are sent to the PSC through the PS in National Security.
Under the late Fitzroy Bedeau as Commissioner of Police, it is well known that a promotion list left his office for the Ministry of National Security and drastic changes were then made there without his involvement or even the commission.
Those were the days when for the first time in our history the country had two ministers of National Security – Senator Einstein Louison and Prime Minister Mitchell.
The Keith Mitchell doctrine on promotion in the police force was laid out within hours of returning to power in the 2013 general election when he addressed the men and women in uniform at a ceremony in which he said that it is not automatic promotion for those next in line.
The manner in which Tafawa Pierre was leap-frogged over many of his superiors holding the rank of Superintendent in the police force is a manifestation of this policy.
THE NEW TODAY holds the view that Supt. Pierre who is the husband of Education Minister Emmalin Pierre is a key figure in the scheme of things of the ruling party given the fact that another key member of the High Command who is a known supporter of NNP is due to demit office within the next 15 months.
Over the years, the ruling party has been able to successfully install its key members and supporters in just about every facet of life in Grenada including the police force.
The NNP has its surrogates in several of our churches holding very influential positions and who help the cause of their party in its stranglehold on the people especially the poor and vulnerable.
These operatives perform at key levels in one of our major churches and control the flow of “goodies” like the distribution of rice and other relief for the destitute in our various communities.
This NNP hegemony on Grenadian life has swept over the entire police force that most of the persons in charge of key sections of RGPF have allowed themselves to see fingers being pointed at them along political lines.
THE NEW TODAY wishes to remind the nation that in the lead up to the 2008 general election when a member of the Special Branch was “detained” by members of Congress for spying on an executive meeting, the then Commissioner of Police, Winston James admitted publicly that the officers in that unit do not report to him.
The question which many asked then and that might still be relevant nearly 15 years later is – who controls the Special Branch and who directs its operations?
This is important in light of what transpired several months ago when those handpicked officers who formed part of the Security Detail of the Prime Minister were paid handsomely for their accumulated leave which they did not take but remained on active duty to serve their “boss” who holds the portfolio of Minister of National Security with responsibility for the police.
In 2013, when Dr. Mitchell returned to power, the then Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson admitted that he did not detail any of the police officers who showed up around the newly installed Prime Minister after the elections.
It is our understanding that those officers who were part of the Security Detail of PM Mitchell when he lost power in 2008 just presented themselves to serve him once again five years later without any instructions from the head of RGPF.
This is the kind of police force that is in existence in Grenada – men and women in uniform whose loyalty is not to the State and the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique but to the political apparatus set up by the ruling party.
Why would a new regime want to keep Deputy Commissioner of Police, Tafawa Pierre in such a sensitive position?
Any regime change in Grenada demands the brutal dismantling of the current system in RGPF in the national interest.