Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Stephen Dean said he has no regrets about leaving the police force after 38 years and he was not surprised that senior command was forcing him into a pre-retirement leave.
He said he leaves the force with his integrity intact.
Last month, Dean was one of eight senior police officers who had been asked to take many weeks of accumulated vacation and are expected to retire at the end of their leave.
Members of the Progressive Liberal Party have speculated that the forced leave for the officers was a part of political purge of the police force.
When asked about the rumors, Dean told The Nassau Guardian, “I really don’t want to get into that because I don’t want my career and my ending to be characterized by that.”
He added: “I have no regrets even leaving at this point because I believe that at some point persons like myself must make room for other persons in this organization to unleash their talent.”
Asked if he was surprised by the notification of his leave, Dean said, “I had in my mind [that] this year I was looking at coming off the grid so to speak. So, I don’t think that it surprised me because I was prepared. I think if I was not prepared it would’ve been a shock. I was prepared. I was prepared from day one.”
The eight officers, who were asked to take their accumulated vacation and retire afterward, are said to each have more than a year’s worth of vacation.
Dean said he had racked up “close to a year and half of vacation”.
“I mean, at the end of the day you’ve got to understand, what I begin to tell people particularly in the organization…for one to accumulate all of that vacation that’s a lot of sacrifice,” he said.
“That’s a lot of sacrifice because the country was moving during different times. You could imagine during a crime wave that persons in senior command that everybody is on vacation?
“That can’t happen. That can’t happen. [During] the Christmas times when we know crime has a tendency to spike up, it’s expected that we be on the job.”
While noting that joining the police force wasn’t his first choice, Dean said he was “mesmerized” by the police officers and detectives he met as a young man and that eventually led him to join after high school.
He said watching officers killed in the line of duty was the most challenging part of the job.
“I think some of the moments that would hurt you as an officer is when you [see] an officer [lose] his life,” he said.
“They were some of the darkest days of my career.”
During the span of his career, the veteran officer served in a number of positions including Director of the National Crime Prevention Office, Co-Coordinator of the Urban Renewal 2.0 Division and press liaison officer.
Dean said he intends to spend more time with his family and create his own company once his leave officially begins.