Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) John Mitchell could become the island’s next Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO) on the St George’s Port.
This was confirmed to THE NEW TODAY by acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie who wa contacted on reports that ACP Mitchell is being removed from police headquarters to take up a new job.
“He (Mitchell) is not transferred – it is quite possible that he might have that responsibility but the question of transfer – no – that is not accurate,” he said.
Commissioner McKenzie was asked specifically if ACP Mitchell would remain at head office to perform his new assignment.
“That has not been decided upon yet. He has not officially been assigned to that. As to the parameters of that arrangement, it is still to be decided,” he said.
“As for now he continues to function as ACP responsible for Operations. I would go so far to say that he is the designated PFSO, it is not yet formalised – that’s how much I can say. It is not a job that is considered to be a relegation,” he added.
According to McKenzie, ACP Mitchell did a similar task when he was at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) some years ago and held the position of Airport Security Manager.
“The airport arrangement is almost like a sister arrangement as compared to the Port arrangement,” he said.
Since the change of government 17 months ago, there have been frequent calls from supporters of the ruling Congress government for ACP Mitchell to be removed from his position on the grounds of his perceived closeness to the former New National Party (NNP) regime of Keith Mitchell who is his close cousin.
New Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell had been reluctant to make sweeping changes within the Police High Command within weeks of taking charge of the nation’s affairs.
ACP Mitchell was identified as the member of the Police High Command who was most hostile to a Junior Police Officer who had visited the Botanical Gardens office of Keith Mitchell as Prime Minister to serve a court document on him.
The Junior Officer who was disciplined for his action came out of the session and told colleagues that the only thing ACP Mitchell did not do to him in the encounter was to hit him.
Commissioner McKenzie who had a stint himself as PFSO on the St George’s port described the job as important in the fight against terrorism especially after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
He said the work of the PFSO is linked to the International Ship & Port Security (ISPS) arrangement and can be considered as “an important work when it comes to Grenada’s maritime trade”.
He indicated that the role of the Security Officer is to ensure that there is a basic standard of security arrangements in place that is common among all designated ports to prevent terrorism.