RBPF to lose 250 officers by 2022

RBPF to lose 250 officers by 2022
Dozens of Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) officers attend the force’s annual church service at police headquarters on Sunday, January 3, 2021. (BIS PHOTO/ERIC ROSE)

COP in the process of restructuring the police force

Officers served transfer orders

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle advised yesterday that some 250 officers are expected to retire by the beginning of January 2022, due to attrition factors.

As a result, the commissioner said he has begun a restructuring effort of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF).

The police force currently has 3,570 sworn officers, including 900 police reserves, the commissioner advised during his annual press briefing at police headquarters.

Over the last five years, 508 officers were recruited.

However, 515 officers were lost during that time period, including 93 officers who retired last year.

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle.

“Due to attrition factors, an additional 121 police officers are expected to retire by the end of the year and another 130 officers are expected to retire in 2022 beginning January of next year,” Rolle said.

“These numbers are daunting given the fact that we were unable to sustain recruitment levels to supplant these losses, particularly when taken in the context of expectations of the force.”

The commissioner noted a recruitment exercise will be conducted in “short order” as an initial step to rebuild the strength of the force.

He explained that this is critical because it takes one to two years before new officers are fully productive.

“We’ll be losing out on potential value for months to years after our retired officers have left,” Rolle continued.

“Notwithstanding, I will continue to review policies and realign the ranks of the force to efficiently manage manpower resources at all police stations throughout The Bahamas.”

In 2020, the RBPF facilitated the training of 2,548 police officers and an additional 207 law enforcement officers from other agencies.

Rolle noted the following transfers:

  • Chief Superintendent Kevin Mortimer from Exuma to operational command, Grand Bahama (GB);
  • Chief Superintendent Mary Mitchell from OIC, Central to Family Island District;
  • Chief Superintendent Walter Evans from Northeastern Division to OIC, Central Division;
  • Chief Superintendent Wendall Smith from Abaco to command, Public Safety, GB;
  • Chief Superintendent Bernard K Bonamy from Southwestern to command, Long Island Division;
  • Chief Superintendent Ken Taylor from operations command, Grand Bahama, to OIC, Abaco;
  • Chief Superintendent Jamuel Ferguson from Southern to command, Exuma Division;
  • Chief Superintendent Brian Rolle from CID, GB, to command, Eleuthera Division;
  • Chief Superintendent Kimberly Taylor from Public Safety, GB, to command, CID, GB;
  • Chief Superintendent Benson Cunningham from PI to command, Andros Division;
  • Chief Superintendent James Miller from Western to command, Bimini Division;
  • Chief Superintendent David Lockhart from director of training to OIC, Southern Division;
  • Chief Superintendent Dellareece Ferguson from Family Island District to director of training;
  • Superintendent Walter Henderson from Eight Mile Rock, GB, to Inagua Division;
  • Superintendent Gregory Lockhart from Inagua to Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama;
  • Superintendent Kirk Douglas from Northeastern to second in command, Bimini Division;
  • Superintendent Roston Moss from Bimini to second in command, Northeastern Division;
  • Superintendent James Moss from North Andros and Berry Islands to second in command, Andros and Berry Islands;
  • Superintendent Kent Thompson from operations command to Southeastern Division;
  • Superintendent Wil Hart from Fox Hill to Eleuthera second in command;
  • Superintendent Sands from second in command, Eleuthera, to second in command, Fox Hill; and
  • Superintendent Ezra Duncombe from Long Island to command, Acklins, Crooked Island and the cays Division — the first time in history a superintendent has commanded that division.

Rolle expressed confidence in the “creative and innovative police officers who possess the requisite skills, talents and expertise to manage crime”, and encouraged the community to work with law enforcement.

“We are optimistic about 2021 and we look forward to maintaining an equitable relationship with members of the public as we perform our pivotal role of creating safer communities in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” he said.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.