News

New police chief next month

Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson will officially demit office before the end of March, The Nassau Guardian understands.

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle is reportedly tapped to become the next commissioner of police.

There will be a new commissioner in time for the force’s annual police ball next month.

Rolle, who is in charge of discipline, joined the Royal Bahamas Police Force in 1983, 37 years ago.

Ferguson, who turns 60 this year, is on sick leave and returns to office on Monday.

He assumed leadership of the force in October 2017, succeeding Ellison Greenslade.

The requirements for retirement in the force are when officers reach age 60 or have 40 years of service.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, who has been mum on Ferguson’s retirement, told senior police officers in November to “not make up their beds” and get comfortable in their positions.

“I also spoke to leadership,” Dames said at the time.

“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 continued, “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.”

The Nassau Guardian again asked Dames yesterday about the leadership of the force, but he shot down questions on the issue.

A major challenge facing the force is that a number of senior officers have two years or less before their retirement.

Therefore, it is unclear what will happen in terms of a long term plan for leadership of the force.

Service

Ferguson joined the police force in 1980, 40 years ago.

He has an associate of arts degree in law and criminal justice from The Bahamas Baptist Community College, and a post graduate certificate in criminal justice and police management from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

He has served in numerous divisions, including the Family Island Division and the Central and Southern divisions in New Providence.

He was head of the Homicide Squad of the Central Detective Unit and commander of the Drug Enforcement Unit.

Under his leadership of the force, there was a marked decrease in crime.

Following years of record murder rates, the murder count in 2018 and 2019 fell below 100, a first in nearly a decade.

He also oversaw leadership during one of the most devastating hurricanes to ever hit The Bahamas.

As noted earlier, Rolle joined the force in 1983.

He served as head of the Central Detective Unit, the commandant of the Police Training Academy and as head of the Anti-Corruption Branch.

During his time at CDU, Rolle “was instrumental in leading the successful conclusion of many serious criminal investigations and placing in excess of 2,400 cases before the Supreme Court”.

He studied public administration at the College of The Bahamas in 1998; Public Administration at the University of The West Indies in 2000; professional management at the Nova Southeastern University and criminology at the University of Leicester in 2006.

Rolle is also a licensed minister and pastor.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018. Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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