The New Today

Letters

Sweet talking the nation

It must be absolutely clear in the minds of all Grenadians that Edvin Martin as Acting Commissioner of Police has no regards for the citizens of this country and continue to sweet talk the nation and the world.

During the RGPF press brief on Wednesday, August 26th 2020, Martin continued to bluff his way through his reign as Commissioner. He is now considered to be even worse than the Prime Minister with sweet talk to the level of pretending to be the best dictionary God put on earth.

This Commissioner in the history is the most lame duck COP the citizens of this country have experienced. Winston James was one who knew his limits through his school leaving knowledge.

However, Martin with his academic degrees only seems to be getting hot in words but no action whatsoever.

Martin’s style of leadership and management has been in-effective since he has been promoting the wishes of the Keith Mitchell administration and not the need for consistent Law Enforcement throughout our tri-island nation.

Martin assumed the role as Commissioner in July of 2018 from Winston James and has not demonstrated any sign of wanting to look at the interest of the men and women of the RGPF, who on a daily basis make the sacrifice to serve the nation.

In many cases, members of the force are made to work one hundred and twenty hours in every seven days. This has manifested in to a large number of the members of the force coming down with numerous ailments, the most common ones being Diabetes and Hypertension.

The overworking of staff is seen as detrimental to the effectiveness of the force and the lifetime problems for families. It also attracts a huge budget at the end of each year.

Everyone had thought that Martin’s appointment would bring betterment to the RGPF but now it is clear he is not interested in the welfare of his staff but instead pushing the wishes of Keith Mitchell and his NNP team in every possible way.

During my tenure in the RGPF where I spent over thirty years, I have never seen so much miscalculation going on in the force.

Like during the revolution 1979-1983, the RGPF now seems to be operating under silent joint leadership with certain responsibility being placed in the hands of Michael François (NNP chief architect and point man in the force).

In recent times, a series of recruitment took place, enrolling dozens of Imanis for Fire and Coast Guard, Rural Constables elevated to Police Constables and Imanis to Rural Constable for many areas – all to fulfill the wishes of NNP.

Thank God, I have already served but the future of the RGPF under Martin if things are not changed for the better, will be a mistake.

During the press conference, Martin attempted to explain the recent alarm bell regarding Inspector Panchoo and Inspector Thomas (the husband of Delma Thomas) at the Immigration Department.

He clearly indicated that in the RGPF there is a protocol where seniority in rank is mandated to assume positions when the head of the department proceed on leave.

The question is, was he being honest or was he covering for the actions of the Keith Mitchell-led administration? It will be increasingly positive for Martin to run the force as a Commissioner and not a politician and he must understand that there are laws and regulations at his disposal.

The RGPF’s ability to dispense its duties to the state has been declining for years since the Mitchell administration has not been giving priority to supplying the force with its needs to respond (by the way we applaud the arrival of the new fire trucks) but the NNP through Martin need to address a number of issues in order to ensure the men and women of the force are in good health and morale and are equipped with the tools to do their jobs.

Some of the following are identified as areas Martin must look into among others;

– RGPF infrastructure and accommodation

– Transparency in promotion

– Increase uniformed officers on the streets and in communities

– Drop the non-policing functions to enhance more enforcement duties

– Re-Grade police salary pending since 1995

Martin seems to be very obsessed with statistics on crime. However, he must know and understand that the welfare of his staff is also equally important to produce the result to show that the force is working.

It is also important that the welfare association according to law be able to function on its own instead of being manipulated by Martin and the Ministry.

To touch a little on the Body Cam, what is the issue here?

I want to know what is more important at this time – Body Cam or other necessary items like accommodation and proper operating spaces.

Will the Body Cam be used for its intended purpose? If it is made available, will it come from Germany and be made available to police or a private squad may be allowed to use it for un-intended purposes?

Finally, it is my belief that both Martin and Curwen should be advised to take a break from giving the public the same presentation which has become monotonous without any visible sign of change in RGPF’s operation.

Retired Officer

Editor’s note: It is our understanding that there is a promotion policy in place and Imanis must pass the grade to become police officers.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police and not ACP Francois who has to give the final go-ahead on all recruitment, training and development within RGPF.

Our research also shows that outside of COVID-19, most police officers work less than 40 hours a week. The only officers who work longer hours are persons attached to CID, Drug Squad, Special Branch – the specialised units in the force.

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