On his final day in office, Commissioner Paul Rolle said he felt like he was “deceived” and “betrayed” by the former administration regarding its handling of senior police officers Clayton Fernander, Leamond Deleveaux and Ken Strachan.
In 2019, Fernander, Deleveaux and Strachan were asked to take their many weeks of accumulated vacation.
Rolle said he was pressured into asking the men to take leave. He said after refusing multiple times, things got “hot” and it became clear that it was either them or him.
“Then I got my written instructions, which I carried out,” the outgoing commissioner said in response to a question from The Nassau Guardian during an episode of ‘Cop Talk’ with host Sergeant Makelle Pinder
“After doing it, I did not like the way it was done. I felt like I was deceived or betrayed.”
Rolle said he was later called to the Office of the Prime Minister and assumed he was also going to receive his marching orders as well. However, he noted that that was not the case. Instead, he said he received a proclamation to prorogue Parliament.
Rolle said following the Free National Movement’s (FNM) loss at the polls during the September 2021 general election, he advised new Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis of what had transpired.
“I had already brought them back,” Rolle said referring to Fernander, Strachan and Deleveaux.
“I didn’t wait for anyone to say to me, ‘bring them’. I apologized to them for the way they were treated. I also said to them that I would do what is required to help them restore their dignity.”
He noted that Strachan received a Queen’s honor, Fernander was promoted to deputy commissioner and was recommended by him to assume the role of commissioner and Deleveux will be promoted to deputy commissioner.
Rolle said he spoke to the other assistant commissioners and asked them to allow him to do this for the older policemen.
“I didn’t like the way they were treated,” Rolle continued. “That is water under the bridge.”
He later added: “This is my last day in office. If you want this uniform, you can have this uniform.”
Rolle said he faced repercussions following the move to place the men on retirement leave.
“Nobody came to defend me,” he said. “There was a whole lot said about me and I have yet to hear anyone stand up and defend me. It was rough. I had to take the licks.
“I never said anything. This commissioner thing, this is a lonely road. I ain’t mad at nobody.”