Bowen’s back on the job
ALMOST FIVE YEARS after being suspended following his public call for Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin to resign, Inspector Anderson Bowen has been reinstated into the Royal Barbados Police Force.
Bowen, one of the force’s top detectives, returned to the job on Monday and has been reassigned to the human resources department. When contacted yesterday at Central Police Station, Bowen declined to comment on the matter, saying only that all questions should be directed to Dottin.
He did however express gratitude to those who had “counselled, advised and morally supported” him while he was on leave, including attorney-at-law Stephen Alleyne, wife Sharmane, brothers Daniel Bowen and George Haynes, and friend Bishop Alfred Vaughan.
Reliable sources at the Personnel Administration Division told the WEEKEND NATION that Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands had accepted the advice of the Police Service Commission that Bowen’s suspension be terminated and that the half salary withheld from him since December 2005 be restored.
Last month Dottin was directed by the Personnel Administration Division to make all arrangements for Bowen’s return to the job.
Bowen will be entitled to retroactive vacation of about nine months. It is also understood that he will be promoted shortly. He had received formal disciplinary charges on April 2, 2007, some 16 months after being suspended for his comments.
In October 2005 Bowen called on Dottin to quit, stressing he bore him no malice but suggesting that in the interest of the organisation and the general public he should leave the organisation since he lacked police management skills.
Bowen also took exception to a number of public statements made by Dottin regarding police investigations and stated those comments often compromised the enquiries being undertaken.
He made specific reference to comments about kidnapped victim Antonio Barker of Rock Dundo, St Michael, among other cases. Barker’s skeletal remains were later found in a canefield.
Bowen was subsequently reassigned to the position of provost officer with responsibility for cleaners, maids and general workers, a position previously held by a constable, and up to that stage, never held by anyone of such senior rank.
He took that matter to the Supreme Court seeking damages. Bowen also filed a writ in the High Court accusing Dottin of unlawfully wiretapping private homes, among other grievances. Those matters are still pending.
While the Police Service Commission has ordered Bowen’s return to the force, it has undertaken a probe into Dottin’s professional conduct and recently filed four charges of misconduct against him.
The Service Commission has also been probing complaints made by Deputy Commissioner of Police Bertie Hinds against Dottin over alleged mismanagement of the force.
Hinds cited several instances where he said Dottin’s management was linked to diminished productivity, low morale and rampant sick leave in the force.