ShotSpotter, drones and other tech-savvy gadgets to be introduced
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – With the start of 2019 just days away, Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security confirmed that government will officially sign off on a number of contracts which will make new tech-savvy gadgets available to the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) to assist with its fight against crime.
Dames made the revelation last Thursday at a graduation ceremony held at the Police Training College for hundreds of new police recruits.
Dames revealed that the start of the new year will ring in a new regime in crime fighting that will be assisted by the introduction of ShotSpotter, and confirmed that it will be the first item introduced in 2019.
“We probably won’t sign [the contract for shot spotter] over the Christmas period, and so between the first and the second week of January 2019 we will be signing that contract and ShotSpotter will become a reality.”
The acquisition of drones is also in the pipeline, Dames confirmed.
“The response to that has been tremendous. I think up to about three weeks ago we had well over twenty companies from across the globe who have demonstrated interest. So, we look forward to making that introduction to the crime fight next year as well,” Dames said.
The introduction of body cams, however, has been delayed for several months.
Dames provided a brief update concerning a tentative timeline for body cams to be discussed in the Upper Chamber.
“We’re now waiting on the Request For Proposals (RFP) so that I can take that to Cabinet and so we can expect to have that RFP before cabinet in early January,” he said.
While some critics have opined that government is dragging its feet with introducing the new crime-fighting tools, Dames said his ministry has actually been busy ensuring that due process has been followed.
“For far too long we have been signing contracts where the government, without regard for the people’s monies, would just sign and we lock ourselves into these long contracts and there is no way of getting out,” Dames noted.
“What we wanted to ensure before we signed off on anything, that it’s the Bahamian people who benefit from this contract and what we have done essentially is we are now at a place where both us, because we’re the customer, where we’re happy because what we said to company is ‘This is what we want!’ If we can’t get it, we have problems,” he said.
CCTV is also on the lineup for full introduction within this fiscal year. However, Dames gave no timeline as to when it will be fully rolled out.