On July 29, the United States government formally donated 20 new Ford Police Interceptor hybrid SUVs to assist the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) routine police operations throughout The Bahamas. The 20 Interceptors will be utilized in Nassau, Grand Bahama, and the Abaco Islands, and will replenish part of the fleet that was lost during Hurricane Dorian.
These Interceptors—valued at just over $1.1 million dollars—expand on another recent donation of six police vehicles valued at approximately $300,000 dollars that were delivered in February, bringing the value of vehicle donations from the U.S. Embassy in 2021 to about $1.4 million. The 20 vehicles delivered today are fuel-efficient hybrid SUVs, helping to reduce fuel costs and sustain increased police patrols in areas with high crime.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts spoke on behalf of the U.S. government, noting that “these Ford Interceptors are a wonderful, small example of the friendship between the United States and The Bahamas.”
The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) provided the funding for the donation after Hurricane Dorian destroyed approximately 100 RBPF vehicles on Grand Bahama and Abaco, significantly hampering routine police operations on those islands. The donation also included a separate package of lights and sirens package, already installed on the vehicles by the RBPF.
Minister of National Security the Honourable Marvin Dames represented the government of The Bahamas and thanked the United States for the donation, noting that “we can’t do it alone. Through partnerships we can do amazing things, and we’re doing it.”
Newly arrived International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Director Bridget Premont was also on hand for the ceremony on behalf of the United States, and Police Commissioner Paul Rolle, and several Senior Executive and Division Commanders also participated in the ceremony on behalf of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy and the RBPF persevered to finalize the million-dollar donation, which was two years in the making. “It’s one thing to hand out cash; it’s another thing to have the bureaucratic fortitude to stick with a project and see it through to the end,” noted Chargé Pitts.
These latest vehicle donations exemplify the strong partnership between the United States and The Bahamas. It also compliments the United States’ ongoing support for citizen and border security in the archipelago, following a donation in December, 2020 of six Mercury Verado boat engines valued at over $168,000 dollars to the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Marine Support Services Unit and Bahamas Customs Marine Unit.