A peep inside RGPF

As a retired police officer and a former Chairman of the Welfare Association, it is my duty to represent my comrades who are still in service. I have been following the Acting COP since he took office in July of 2018 or thereabout, and I joined with others, both serving and retired to express dissatisfaction in the manner in which the RGPF is managed at this time.

The following are our observations:

(1). There is not another period in the history of the Force I have seen so much uncaring gestures demonstrated by a COP who seems to be more a politician than a Policeman.

(2). The COP is afraid to challenge the PM when he makes resenting remarks attacking the hard working men and women of the RGPF.

Case in point,

  • The PM has a history in attacking police officers openly and in an embarrassing way with no one stopping him or can even do so.
  • In 2003 the PM through the then COP called all senior officers to a meeting and cursed them off because of the close call during the election then.
  • In 2013 again following election at a meeting on the SSU compound, the officers were ridiculed when the PM told the meeting, “it does not matter if you are next in line, it does not mean that you have to be promoted” that was another insulting remark by the PM.
  • At another meeting at the Trade Center Annex a few years ago, the PM again insulted the officers by saying to them, “some of all you in the force pretending and I don’t want all you salute and I will call you out” and he was cheered by his ardent supporters of the force.
  • The latest embarrassment was during this Covid-19 crisis when he was complimenting frontline workers. He clearly separated his supporters from the rest by saying, “I will like to recognise/compliment the Commissioner and most of his team”. Was there a problem in saying I congratulate the RGPF for a job well executed. Did the COP raise this issue with the PM who is the National Security Minister?

(3).  Both commissioners Martin and James on several occasions insulted the members of the RGPF by saying to them during several inspections cycles, “if any of you come into the RGPF to get rich, the RGPF is not the place for you” clearly indicating to them that they were not on their side then and this has continued.

(4). The RGPF conveniently used police officers and public servants when dealing with Gazetted officers. As an appointed officer, it is clearly directed that your duty hours are from 8.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday and off on weekends and bank holidays. Interestingly, the leave for Gazetted officers continue to include those days you already earn from your appointment.

As we on the leave issue, I was reliable informed that RGPF is about to wipe out the leave accumulated by senior officers when sent on attachment to other organisations.

It is my hope that the Commissioner of Police will look into this and to get the force to proceed carefully and ensure that he comprehensively investigate the condition of service of all organisations to determine the reality of their condition of service the officers were employed in. This will explain who of the groups were advantaged or disadvantaged during their attachment.

The Commissioner of Police must also look at what formula we have in the RGPF and the amount of leave and pass one received in a year.

If the COP is going by the two {2} days on duty and two {2} days off, we can see one officer getting an estimated 15 days off per month, bringing him to six months pass in a year in addition to his at least thirty [30] day leave.

The question now is, did any of the officers being targeted is benefiting in this ? One can deduce several problems from any such action.

(1). Did anyone hold consultation with those concerned officers?

(2). Is the understanding of the arrangement now different from that of past years?

(3). Was a new policy drawn up for future posting and is there a current policy, Regulation or Laws which provide for retroactive deduction of officers’ leave?

(4). There are several officers over the years who went on attachment and benefited – why target just a few at this time?

(5). Does the COP have the formula to calculate leave from every organisation where RGPF officers were attached and did he compare it to the RGPF formula?

Mr. COP, after you would have compared all those formulas of the various organisations, if any officer would have been advantaged, then some measure of policy guideline should be put in place to prevent future occurrences.

However, since it was a big number of staff going through this type of conditions, and most would have been beneficiaries, no one should be allowed to target just the few.

Instead, one should be going forward by putting a policy in place to guide the process.

Mr. Commissioner, with the above said, I know that you are bright and smart enough to understand that Politics and Policing never make a good couple.

A Commissioner will always show some more interest in his staff and seek better working condition for them at all times, be respectful, truthful, supporting and be genuine to them.

A Commissioner will defend them at all cost from political interference and victimisation. Remember life as a policeman is much longer than a politician. Therefore, I join with serving colleagues to beg your indulgence to do the right thing and stay away from the institutional mess.

It will be disappointing Mr. COP if what you supported then you now turn against it today. Remember those who helped you when you needed the help – now is your turn to help them but not condemn them.

Chairman – Former Welfare Association

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