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Greenslade: 30 Officers Fired Since He Took Command

Thirty police officers have been dismissed from the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) since Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade took command, the police chief revealed yesterday.

Eight were fired in 2010; 13 in 2011; six in 2012 and three so far in 2013.

Most of the officers were dismissed under the force’s internal codes. Others were convicted in the RBPF’s tribunal or in a criminal court, Greenslade said.

He made the revelation at a press conference at police headquarters where he expressed “disappointment” over the recent arrest of former Constable Toni Atiya Sweeting.

Sweeting, 27, was arrested in the U.S. Departures Lounge at Lynden Pindling International Airport on Friday for alleged possession of cocaine. She was on duty and in uniform at the time of her arrest, police said.

But Greenslade did not get into the specifics of the case. The matter is now before the courts.

The RBPF has been dogged by recent allegations of police brutality and excessive force. Greenslade has said the reports have tarnished the force’s reputation.

“I ask our people to come to work with clean hands and to keep their hands clean,” he said.

“I ask our people to be firm and professional in the discharge of their duties. We can be relentless in the pursuit of offenders and very firm, but we must be professional.”

Greenslade said the RBPF will remain transparent whenever it deals with cases of alleged police misconduct and will penalize officers who are of ill repute.

While not speaking about any particular officer, he said, “I am not going to tolerate officers committing criminal acts, breaching our discipline codes and causing the reputation of this force to be brought into disrepute.”

Greenslade also expressed his disgust at a tabloid which reported that he had recently met with an alleged criminal. He said the report was not true and was meant to cast the RBPF in a bad light.

“While I’m not prepared to respond to every little thing that I see in the press, I am saying that those reports are erroneous and I am going to be having some further discussions more intimately with the people concerned,” he said.

The commissioner also said he plans to speak with Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage and Prime Minister Perry Christie about an article that appeared in The Tribune last week that referred to members of the RBPF as “terrorists”.

“It is a sad day when in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas decent Bahamian citizens like myself, my executive team and all members of the police force can be referred to as terrorists in the discharge of our duties,” he said.

“Whoever said that is wrong. “It has national security implications. Police officers cannot be referred to as terrorists. Those are
dangerous words and I am very bothered by it. “It is wrong. It should never have happened. It should never have been said.”

By Taneka Thompson
Guardian Senior Reporter

Posted in Headlines

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