Minister Dames Lauds Work of RBPF

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Minister of National Security, the Hon. Marvin Dames (pictured at podium) applauded the work of the Royal Bahamas Police Force at their annual church service on Sunday at Annex Baptist Cathedral. (BIS Photos/Eric Rose)

Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin H. Dames, applauded the members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the work of the body as a whole, on January 6, 2019, during the RBPF Annual Church Service, held at the Annex Baptist Cathedral, Wulff and Pinedale Roads. “The year 2018, was a truly historic one for the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” Minister Dames said. “In all my life, I have never seen an organization make such a dramatic turnaround in such a short period of time.”

Among those in attendance were Prime Minister Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis; Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Secretary Eugene Poitier; Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson; Commander of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Commodore Tellis Bethel; Acting Commissioner of Correctional Services Charles Murphy; Comptroller of Customs Dr. Geannine Moss; Director of Immigration Clarence Russell; senior officers and heads of uniformed branches of Government, including the Road Traffic Department and the Airport Authority; President of the Bahamas Christian Council Bishop Delton Fernander and numerous BCC members; members of the clergy; and family members of those members of the uniformed branches present who died in 2018.

Minister Dames addressed the families of the nine serving police officers who fell from the ranks in 2018 – one of whom, he noted, lost his life by “a cowardly act of violence” – and said that he joined them in paying respects to their loved ones who gave “unselfish service to our nation”.“Not one of them will ever be forgotten, and may their souls rest in peace,” he added. In addressing the merits of the Branch, Minister Dames stated that the RBPF had returned to some of its most treasured and time-honored traditions and practices which made it “one of the most progressive police departments in the region”.

“Events such as Police Month, the Police Ball, the Police Canteen, the Police Gym, the Cadet Corps Programme, local and overseas training, the Children’s Christmas Party, proficiency exams being held twice a year, and joint operations with other law enforcement agencies have all been finally restored,” Minister Dames said. “These productive traditions should have never been stopped as they are vital to boosting the morale of our fine officers,” he added. “I have no doubt, that because of the reintroduction of these programmes, we now have a Force that is more motivated, more inspired, and more enthused about going above and beyond the call of duty.”

Minister Dames noted that, as a result of the new level of motivation and performance, 283 firearms and 6,250 rounds of ammunition were taken off the streets. “Because of this higher level of productivity, over 10,292 pounds of marijuana and 184 pounds of cocaine were seized,” he continued. “Because of this increased level of professionalism, a total of 1,213 law enforcement officers and civilians have been trained. And most notably, because of a new refocused strategy, murders have dropped by some 25 percent — a figure that has not been seen in about a decade.” Minister Dames told those in attendance that, before he went any further, there was a tendency to thank policy makers and strategic leaders for those accomplishments.

“But first, I want to thank you, our brave men and women on the frontlines, who put their lives on the line each day and actually execute these strategies,” he stated. “I want all of the senior officers to stand and let us give our front line officers a rousing round of applause for their work in 2018.” Minister Dames noted that the only valid indicator of police success should not be based solely on whether a particular criminal offence fluctuated up or down. Other key indicators must include ones that may be a bit more difficult to measure, such as the number of crimes that were actually prevented due to police intervention, he said.

He asked: “What if we stop and ask ourselves for a moment, just how many murders were actually prevented because of the new initiatives? Exactly how many shootings were prevented due to the number of weapons the police seized? Just how many young people decided not to use drugs because of the Force’s drug prevention efforts? In other words, what would the level of crime be if there was no police action?” “The good works of police officers are too often lost in the rhetoric of the crime challenges we are addressing at the government level,” Minister Dames stated. “But officers, I want you to know that I am kept fully up to date of your good work from Commissioner Ferguson as well as members of the public whose lives you have positively impacted.”

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