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Greenslade Should Quit Police Force

If what Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash said is true about Prime Minister Perry Christie throwing Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade under the bus in a recent address he gave at an urban renewal function, then Greenslade once again finds himself in an awkward position.

It would appear that politicians are once playing political football with Greenslade’s livelihood.

I vividly recall that during the last Hubert Ingraham administration supporters of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) were crying foul over the government’s decision to gut and water down the urban renewal programme by removing police officers from community centres and placing them back on the streets to combat crime.

Despite the lack of scientific data, the hue-and-cry back then was that the escalating murder rate was attributed to this decision by the FNM government.

Like many Bahamians in the first months of the Christie government, the writer too was guilty of prematurely lauding the success of urban renewal in bringing down the murder rate.

At the time, there was a lull in the murder. Looking back in hindsight, however, I believe the lull was due to the fact that the violent gangs had taken a wait-and-see approach in order to see exactly what this new and highly touted Urban Renewal 2.0 programme would look like.

After its implementation, the gangs resumed the killings.

It was July 2012 that former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham chided Greenslade for publicly lauding urban renewal’s success despite allegedly speaking negatively about the programme to Ingraham while he was still in high office.

Immediately after Ingraham’s criticism of the police commissioner, the PLP came to Greenslade’s defence by blasting the former prime minister for his remarks.

Ingraham also took a lot of flak for sending Greenslade and Marvin Dames to Canada for about a year for further law enforcement training.

It was insinuated by Ingraham’s opponents that the top brass of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) were loyal Ingrahamites and that the move to whisk Dames and Greenslade out of the country was done in order to make room for these FNMs.

Ingraham and his former administration were also heavily criticised for removing the security of tenure of the police commissioner.

The PLP repealed the Police Act, which restored the security of tenure for the two top posts in the RBPF.

If there is one thing which can be gleaned from all this back-and-forth between the PLP and the FNM, it is that the PLP’s public relations machinery has done a remarkable job at creating the perception that the FNM and Greenslade are political foes.

However, now that Christie has reportedly thrown Greenslade under the bus; and after National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage had essentially disagreed with Greenslade over who is ultimately responsible for the security of Deputy Prime Minister Philip ‘‘Brave’’ Davis, after Davis and his wife and chauffeur were robbed at gunpoint by three men in December, is it safe to assume that Greenslade’s cordial relationship with the Christie administration has grown frosty?

Whatever the case might be, I am of the view that Greenslade should cut his losses and quit the Police Force and seek the many opportunities in the private sector that are available to him, as it now appears that he is in a no-win situation with the current government and its leader.

If Cash’s assertion is right about Christie seeking to blame the Police Force and Greenslade for the failure of urban renewal and his government’s crime fighting strategies in bringing down the excessively high murder rate, then Greenslade has become a convenient scapegoat.

If urban renewal succeeds, Christie will take the credit; if it fails, he will simply pass the buck on to Greenslade and his hard-working officers.

Making matters worse for Greenslade is the fact that he cannot speak out in defense of himself because Christie signs his paycheck.

He could also be relegated to the doghouse if he were to challenge the prime minister.

Nor can he expect the FNM to come to his aide because the PLP has done a good job at making him appear to be one of their very own. Greenslade should follow the example of his former police deputy (Marvin) Dames by quitting the Force and joining the lucrative private sector. I understand that Dames has a good paying job at Baha Mar.

Why put up with all the pressure and headache in the police commissioner’s job? The way this crime situation is going, I don’t think the police commissioner’s job is worth it.

At the very least he will have peace of mind of not having to worry about any politician blaming him for the escalating crime rate when their crime strategies have failed.

By: Kevin Evans
Freeport, Grand Bahama

Posted in Opinions

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