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RGPF needs strong leadership

File photo of Acting Commissioner Don Mc Kenzie and other high-ranking officers at a recent press conference

A former Commissioner of Police has said that one of the biggest problems in the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is lack of strong leadership and called for those persons now comprising the High Command to provide greater and more efficient leadership to the men and women in uniform.

The ex-chief cop also expressed concern about the lack of police patrols throughout the island in light of the recent upsurge in criminal activities on the island.

“We need to see patrols throughout Grenada – let people see the presence of the police as that will reassure them of their security and safety,” he said.

According to the retired senior cop, there have been a lot of promotions within RGPF in recent years but it is quite noticeable that “you keep promoting people and you (are) not seeing people on the streets.”

He told THE NEW TODAY that a simple drive through the streets of the city on any given day and one will hardly see police officers and Traffic Wardens on active duty.

“Very few or none at all,” he quipped.

The ex-COP called for a redefinition of the American-created Special Services Unit (SSU) within RGPF after the demise of the Grenada Revolution following the death of leftist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in a bloody palace coup by a hardline faction that was loyal to ex-deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard.

“You don’t see SSU nowhere patrolling. SSU (has) become a dormant department and doing only guard duty or special duty – this shouldn’t happen,” he said.

The retired chief cop lamented the fact that the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) was created years after and is now doing what the SSU used to do previously and this is rather unfortunate in the Police Force.

“SSU just dey,” he said, as he called for better utilisation of the paramilitary unit.

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According to the ex-top cop, he is getting the feeling after talking to some senior police officers in RGPF that there is a need for better cohesion and co-ordination in National Security.

“Too few people (are) involved in saying what to do and they really do not have the experience and knowledge so you will continue having problems,” he said.

This is seen as directed at the level of inexperience at the High Command and the main players in National Security.

There are reports that some of the persons elevated to hold positions within the High Command have never even run a Division in RGPF but afforded rapid promotion to the top tier of the force.

The retired Commissioner also urged the Don McKenzie-led outfit to move quickly on the installation of CCTV cameras to be used as a vital tool in the fight against crime in the country.

He stressed the need for the Police Force to set up these cameras at what he called those strategic points along the road way that the criminals will pass after committing an infringement of the law.

He said there should be about 15 to 20 locations already identified for setting up these cameras to help in the fight against criminal activities.

‘We have a lot of work to do but nobody is doing it,” he added.

The ex-COP said he is forming the impression that most members of the force are now just preoccupied with promotion to get a higher take home pay cheque and called for a balance in terms of work ethics and value for money.

“It is just promotion, promotion, promotion and achievement of the organisation just going down,” he said, adding that a lot of the people who benefit from the promotions apparently cannot effectively do the job.

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