NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Three senior police officers who were placed on leave in 2019 will now serve in leadership positions on the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), announced Commissioner of Police (COP) Paul Rolle yesterday.
Assistant Commissioners Clayton Fernander, Leamond Deleveaux and Ken Strachan returned to active duty as of September 27, just days after the new government was elected to office.
During a press conference yesterday, Rolle advised that he is in the process of “restructuring” the force.
Fernander will now be charged with intelligence management; Deleveaux with the criminal proceedings and prosecutorial control; and Strachan with operations management and tactical support.
“I am extremely pleased to have these assistant commissioners rejoin the senior executive leadership team as we continue to address the scourge of crime, drugs and the proliferation of firearms on our streets,” Rolle said.
“These men are well respected and hold a wealth of knowledge and experience which will definitely be an asset to the team.”
The COP said he “enthusiastically” welcomed the men to make a positive and impactful difference in the country as it rebuilds and moves forward.
The trio was among of group of senior officers who were directed to take vacation time owed to them in 2019.
Upon their return, the men were then directed to special assignments for a year, which was later extended.
Following the completion of their special assignments, Fernander and Deleveaux reported for duty but were advised to await further instruction.
Strachan took legal action.
It remains unclear whether he intends to discontinue that action against the government now that he has been reinstated.
When asked yesterday why those officers were returned to duty after being removed, Rolle said: “I brought them back and I’ll leave it right there.”
The commissioner then opened the floor to allow each of the reinstated officers “couple of minutes of my time” to make a comment to the press and the public.
Fernander was the only one who took the opportunity, and began by quoting Proverbs 16:3 from the Bible.
“I am very pleased to be back in office to continue to serve my country with the support of my colleagues and indeed the Bahamian people,” he said.
He noted that based on the commissioner’s report, the “fear of crime” can still be seen in the public.
He said in order to combat this, officers will be on the road consistently so that response times can improve and culprits can be caught in the action or trying to get away.
Fernander added that focus will also be placed on following up on complaints, keeping complainants up-to-date and following through with matters even after court.
“We are going to stay focused on that to move the fear of crime from the community,” he said.
The reinstated ACP also suggested that the gun court be reinstated to deal with matters where only police officers are needed for witnesses.
He ended his time by indicating: “Assistant Commissioner Police Clay Fernander reporting for duty.”