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COP Don McKenzie comes under fire

Don McKenzie – the current head of RGPF

A top Commander in the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has launched a scathing attack on acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie by accusing him of lacking initiative to take the organisation to the next level in its development.

The officer who spoke to THE NEW TODAY on condition that he was not identified said that Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dickon Mitchell was ill-advised by those around him on the McKenzie appointment following the change of government in June 2022.

“The man at the helm, regardless how you put it, you can put it in the lowest layman’s term … people (in RGPF) are now questioning the man’s level of comprehension now,” he said.

“You can’t tell me that you have a man at that level … and the man don’t even have an initiative, he doesn’t even have a strategy, he doesn’t even have a roadmap to follow to say we travelling West today or East tomorrow and give the reason why and who will do it, when he will do it. Nothing like that – no roadmap to follow.”

“If you have an organisation at that level which is of such a high importance in National Security and Stability – you don’t have a roadmap? Everything is done adhoc which shouldn’t be in a law enforcement institution. There should be a plan to follow and people should be aware of the plan and there should be some level of accountability for every member who is required to work with that plan. When you don’t have that you will end up in a crisis.”

McKenzie came in for severe criticism from the public a few months ago when he appeared unsure in answering questions at a press conference in the Catamaran killing of two Americans by three escaped prisoners from Paradise in St Andrew.

According to the top cop, the RGPF is still operating on the basis that if something happens in the city then “a few fellahs” will be mobilised to go and see what is happening.

“It shouldn’t be so. You should have already identified the skillset and composed teams so you know if it’s a gunfight, you know is Team A that is going because they have the skillset and they have the information and investigative skills and know people.”

The Police Commander charged that PM Dickon Mitchell is being “ill-advised and misled” by those offering him advice on National Security matters.

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“I think Dickon was misled and misinformed about the situation,” he said.

The senior ranking officer also criticized COP McKenzie on the issue of Succession Planning in RGPF.

He said that whenever the island’s chief cop is asked a question about succession planning in the police force he keeps talking about sending one or two police officers to Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados on training exercises.

‘That is not succession planning – you have to have a plan and say who will be in charge of this, who will take over if that person leaves,” he remarked.

According to the senior cop, there are already in place several things that can be followed as guidelines such as Regulations, PSC Staff Rules, Standing Orders and laws ‘to guide us as to what to do” but the Succession Planning is an issue.

“If you have a man in a position and he’s going on leave in excess of 28 days, the person then deputising for him should be appointed to act in the position once it exceeds 28 days. We have all these things to guide us as to what to do – all these things have to be part of Succession Planning but talking nonsense about how many people go to Trinidad, Guyana and the States will not cut it.”

The RGPF Commander believes that there are officers in the Police Force with “all the skillset” but are not placed in the right position.

He said that a current problem in the force is that an officer will be sent abroad for training and on return within short order is transferred to another area that has nothing to do with his specialised area of training.

He also lamented the fact that there are people at the top of the Police Force in the High Command who have never even “run a station, never run a division” but put in charge of RGPF.

“They don’t understand the dynamics in management of personnel,” he said.

About two months ago, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell expressed full support for COP McKenzie who has been given an extension to remain in charge of the Police Force until year-end.

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