Nothing should be allowed to destabilize RBPF
OVER VERY MANY years in Barbados, there had evolved a general acceptance of the principle that nothing should be knowingly and deliberately done that would undermine the professional integrity and operational viability of our national public service institutions.
The wisdom and value of this noble and principled philosophy has been overtly and practically demonstrated by the invaluable contributions these institutions in general have made to Barbados’ long established reputation for fine public administration and the resultant social, political and economic success and stability our island has generally over several generations.
It is therefore against such a backdrop that the public would understandably view with alarm, the disturbing story in yesterday’s edition of the SUNDAY SUN indicating that our Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) seems destined to be enmeshed in further dispute and controversy over another reported attempt by the Police Service Commission (PSC) to abandon hitherto well-entrenched practices regarding promotions in the force’s ranks.
This particular and latest development is most surprising given that it is well known that 17 police officers have already instituted judicial review proceedings challenging the validity of the actions of a previous PSC over earlier police promotions. To therefore learn of such a PSC move even before the courts have ruled on preceding ones is just cause for the community to take careful note of the seeming non-traditional trend, and to strongly and vociferously reaffirm its intolerance of anything that would destabilize the RBPF and public confidence in it.
Central to this repeated attempt to drastically alter the norms, values and practices that had for extended periods characterized the Force’s internal promotions is current Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin.
Ironically enough, yesterday’s disclosure came within days of fulsome praise being heaped on the RPPF for its success in reducing crime in no less a place than the House of Assembly and by no less personages than Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite.
Surely as chief administrator, Commissioner Dottin would logically and of necessity bear some responsibility and accountability for the Force’s improved performance, as he would have had it deteriorated. To therefore seek to remove the involvement of this or any other future commissioner from the RBPF’s promotional process by a politically appointed PSC would be to make crass nonsense and mockery of a system that had long stood the test of time.