The Tribune headline on January 6, 2020, “Ferguson told — your days are numbered”, must have been a shock to many police officers and former police officers.
I was not surprised or shocked as I have stated on numerous occasions that politicians in our country have no respect for police officers.
This lack of respect has been demonstrated in many ways in the past: The exclusion of Major Edward Sears from being commissioner of police in the 50s; housing discrimination/conditions of service experienced upon the departure of the U.K. senior officers from The Bahamas in the 60s and 70s; the refusal to appoint Albert Miller commissioner in the 70s; the retirement of Commissioners Bonamy, Farquharson and Greenslade; and of course, the offer by a government to pay overtime in a case that had to be taken to court by the Police Staff Association (the payment to be made after the general election, a gross insult to the intelligence of our police officers).
The report on The Tribune’s front page must have been humiliating, insulting and disrespectful, not only to the commissioner of police, but other senior officers, who have served the country with distinction.
The fact that the minister of national security wants the commissioner and other senior officers to know that when they reach retirement they will be expected to leave and to identify a suitable and qualified replacement, the information could have been communicated to all such senior officers discreetly.
It is most unfortunate that the minister chose a public forum to make the disclosure.
The U.K. officers that had to leave before independence were treated more kindly.
I feel very badly about this matter and sincerely hope that the performance and morale of the force are not affected.
My sincere congratulations to members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force for their continued good performance, which could be enhanced in the new year.
Be healthy, safe, efficient and effective.
We served with honor. We remember with pride.
– Paul Thompson Sr.