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Police Officer: PSC circular on political involvement is contradictory

Police Headquarters located on Fort George where the Commissioner and the High Ranking officers are located

A senior member of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has poured scorn on a circular sent out by the Public Service Commission (PSC) warning public officers not to get involved in direct political activities during the upcoming general election.

The top cop told THE NEW TODAY that this directive cannot apply to those police officers who have loved ones serving as ministers in the current ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

“It’s kind of contradictory,” he said.

He pointed a finger in the direction of senior police officers within the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Immigration Department whose wives hold senior Cabinet positions in the Grenada government.

This is an obvious reference to the head of the FIU, Superintendent Tafawa Pierre who is now promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Police and Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Thomas who is attached to the Immigration Department.

The current head of the Immigration Department, Superintendent Leroy Joseph is the brother of Foreign Affairs Minister, Oliver Joseph.

According to the senior officer, it is well known within RGPF that when the NNP is holding meetings, two top officers are often seen wearing the green T-shirts of the ruling party alongside their wives, as well as sitting on the political platform with them.

“Why can they do it and others cannot?”

The high-ranking member of the force alleged that the RGPF High Command is fully aware that the husband of a government minister who is stationed at the Immigration Department will be attending NNP meetings.

“If you wear the (NNP) jersey and you for them it is ok but if I wear the (National Democratic Congress) jersey and I’m not for them it’s a problem,” he remarked.

The top cop pointed out that in the last general election in 2018, one of the police officers whose wife is a government minister featured in every motorcade hosted by his partner.

“…He was always the lead driver as a police officer in the motorcades she was having – and not a little police – a big police,” he said.

The top cop charged that RGPF is affected by favouritism and that a lot of police officers who are suspected to be supportive of Congress are often “censored” by those running the police force.

He said these officers are often moved from the position they are holding in the force at the time, as well as transferred from the Department they are placed in at the time and deployed elsewhere.

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“It’s a number of things that happen. It’s just not fair the way things are happening,” he told THE NEW TODAY.

The senior officer lamented the fact that a lot of the police officers who are “maligned and victimised” along political lines are the ones who are known to be committed officers within the force.

He also said that currently, a lot of the officers seen “in high level clothes” are the ones who “cannot carry the office they hold”.

“As I often say they can only carry themselves around – not the office they hold,” he quipped.

“The better part of the organisation are the ones who are performing but are maligned. They never get the opportunity to be elevated. The available positions are reserved for a certain set of people in the force,” he said.

According to the senior cop, the whole infrastructure of RGPF started to dismantle in the late 1990’s with the coming to power of Prime Minister Mitchell whose tenure started in June 1995.

He said that from the time Lieutenant-Colonel Nestor Ogilvie, the Grenadian-born Commander of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) demitted office from RGPF, things started to “crumble” in the police force.

Former Police Commissioner, the late Fitzroy Bedeau who ran in St John for NNP in the 2008 general election, often boasted that he was “the 16th member” of the Cabinet of Ministers under Prime Minister Mitchell after he won all 15 seats in the 1999 general election.

The high-ranking officer indicated that the current NNP Directorate has employed a deliberate policy over the years “of moving people who they believe are not for them” from certain important positions in the police force.

He recalled the removal of Superintendent Godfrey Flemming as Chief of Immigration on the grounds that he was a supporter of the Congress party.

The best-performing officers, he said, are moved for political purposes “even if they are the ones who can do the job.”

“They know that but they don’t care,” he added.

The senior cop also charged that some of the persons who are engaged in Security Detail around the Prime Minister are known to show great disrespect to some of their seniors in the rank and file of the force because of their closeness to the Grenadian leader.

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