Dames tells senior officers not to get too comfortable

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames yesterday warned senior police officers to “not make up their beds” and get comfortable in their positions in law enforcement.

“I also spoke to leadership,” Dames told The Nassau Guardian.

“I said to all of them, the commissioners of all the agencies who were there. I said, ‘Don’t take up these positions to make up your bed.’”

He said the leaders of the various law enforcement agencies should not “assume these positions to make up their beds because when people make up beds, it means that they do not intend to go nowhere”.

“We’re all just passing through and our jobs, as we assume leadership, our job is to prepare those under us to take over,” Dames said.

“If we fail to do that, then it means that we were to fail.”

Dames’ admonishment comes weeks after Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) Commodore Tellis Bethel was sent on a three-month vacation leave.

The decision to remove Bethel at this time has raised eyebrows among some observers given that the RBDF is instrumental in Hurricane Dorian relief efforts on Grand Bahama and Abaco, where security concerns on the ground have persisted.

The commodore is on leave from October 15, 2019 to January 15, 2020.

On October 23, when questioned, Dames would not say if Bethel was on pre-retirement leave.

When asked, he replied, “He’s currently on leave.”

Asked what will happen to the commodore in three months, Dames said, “I can’t tell you what will happen come January.”

When pressed, the minister said, “ … No one knows what’s next after that. I mean, the thing is: what is the central point?

“Because we’re making a lot of assumptions and I can’t deal with assumptions. I have to deal with reality, the facts, what’s before me.”

The Guardian understands that Bethel has accumulated vacation of just under a year.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has said that the decision to send Bethel on leave was made to save taxpayers’ money.

“I think the government has a policy that individuals who have long, extended vacation – from we came in, we’ve enacted such a policy where we place individuals on leave,” Minnis said.

The prime minister said the move is not expected to impact recovery efforts on islands affected by Dorian.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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