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McKenzie: “We run the police force based on merit, not colour”

Senior Officers within RGPF in the company of the newly promoted Sergeants and Corporals

Acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie has reacted to allegations that the latest batch of promotions within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) favoured officers aligned to the main opposition New National Party (NNP) over those known to be supporters of the Congress government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.

In an interview with THE NEW TODAY, McKenzie said that there are general guidelines regarding selecting officers for promotion and that each department has its own respective guidelines as well.

“There is a legal document called regulations that speaks to the process that has been applied here and that is the product of that process,” he said.

Several officers who were overlooked for promotion claimed that the High Command selected a number of persons who were identified as NNP supporters but soon after the June 2022 general election switched over to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of the new Prime Minister.

According to Commissioner McKenzie, the new regulations have been put in place to rectify certain issues that have plagued the promotion process in the past but he was not specific.

However, the island’s chief cop acknowledged that there will be “teething problems” that will come with the new process, thus the potential delay.

“The process can take a while. This promotion was as I said, it was like a brand new promotion. If you recall that there were a number of persons (who) had appealed,” he said.

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“… It was a new piece of regulation and it was the very first time that we actually tried it. You would have teething problems. What has happened today is as a result of the processing of the appeals… it’s almost like we tried to remedy the situation and that’s it,” he added.

During last Friday’s ceremony at the Special Services Unit (SSU) camp at Point Salines, twelve Corporals were promoted to Sergeants while twenty one Constables were promoted to the rank of Corporal.

The Commissioner was at pains to point out that RGPF is committed to rewarding officers based on merit and not one’s political affiliation.

“We run the police force based on merit not colour…anybody who thinks that they are not well represented or the case was not considered, talk to me – show me your merit on which you make those claims.

“…I believe that as we have seen in the past, when you go the road of colour, colour changes over time. A person’s career can span forty plus years. The politician cycle in terms of an election cycle is five years. We prefer to invest on merit…that is the criteria.”

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