I was shocked to learn of the absolute travesty made of our police force by Ellison Greenslade and the former PLP government. Hundreds of possibly undeserved promotions that add no value to the force and destroy morale, on the eve of election? That should be against the law.
Mind you, it is not surprising. The RBPF has been used repeatedly as a political toy, and ‘promotions for votes’ is a common trade in the public service. I remember several years ago, a news story about unqualified individuals, some of whom didn’t graduate high school and some who even had criminal records, hired as junior police.
Public safety is a serious matter, not a subject for games. With crime still unacceptable high, we absolutely must do something to ensure that our police force is as effective, efficient, professional and transparent as possible.
Drastic action is needed. The Bahamas government should hire senior police officers from a country that is serious about law and order, and put them in charge of the force for a set period of time, say five years.
They should have a mandate to transform the RBPF into a modern and professional operation that is: headed by intelligent and experienced officers; has transparent and merit-based promotion systems; and is legally immune to the kind of political manipulation that so blatantly took place under the last government.
These officers or former officers could advise Parliament on what kind of laws need to be passed to make such foolishness illegal, institute more effective training methods, and balance the top heavy force so that it can be more effective.
Our lives and safety literally depend upon a well run police force. Something simply has to be done. Please, Minister Dames, take meaningful action. Don’t give us more of the same.