ACP Cunningham touts multi-government agency approach to community policing as he bades farewell to GB

In-coming officer in charge of the Grand Bahama and Northern Bahamas District of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Assistant Commissioner of Police Bernard Bonamy, Jr., and out-going officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Theophilus Cunningham offer a final salute at Grand Bahama International Airport on Thursday, April 6, 2023, as ACP Cunningham takes his leave and hands the reins over to ACP Bonamy. (BIS Photos/Andrew Miller)

Out-going Assistant Commissioner of Police, Theophlius Cunningham said his most profound memory during his time as Officer in Charge of Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas has been the initiation of the Multi-Government Agency approach to community policing.

Assisting persons with disabilities, who have a right to more user-friendly systems within the communities which the police department serves, has also been a measure of success for ACP Cunningham. In his farewell speech at Police Headquarters in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Cunningham said his journey to Grand Bahama has been a very exciting and adventurous one in the line of duty: ACP Cunningham has now retired after a two-year stint in Grand Bahama.

As he officially handed over the reins of power of Officer in Charge for Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas to Bernard Bonamy, Jr., ACP Cunningham was delighted to report that during his tenure, which began June 2021, the Grand Bahama and Northern Bahamas District accomplished much in the reduction of crime in these communities.

“Presently, at this time, the murder count for Grand Bahama is zero and there are only two armed robberies at this time,” Cunningham said. “Our community relations is very strong. Public trust and confidence is crucial in our fight against crime as you well know.

“This is the end of the first quarter and the District has concluded very strong in our crime reduction rate. Special thanks goes out to all the officers in the Grand Bahama District, who have worked so hard to make this possible. We contribute the majority of our success to community support.”

Making reference to a few specific cases which he deemed a notch in the belt of his tenure as ACP and Officer in Charge of Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas District, Cunningham pin-pointed the case involving a serial rapist that left many Grand Bahamians on edge during the months of April through June in 2022. Cunningham admitted that the case had placed a lot of pressure on the District, as residents were demanding that the matter be resolved as quickly as possible.

“During the latter part of June 2022, we were able to capture two suspects who were later interviewed, charged and placed before the courts,” said Cunningham. “These matters were resolved.

“I would like to thank the citizens of Grand Bahama for the tremendous support shown to us as we partnered to create safer communities and reduce the fear of crime. Thanks to all the leaders in the religious sector, the government, the NGOs and the private sectors alike.”

ACP Cunningham thanked Commissioner of Police, Mr. Clayton Fernander for delivering on his commitment and bringing the technological aspects of policing to life in Grand Bahama with the initiation of Body Cams, Shot-Spotter and CCTV. Cunningham is convinced that these advancements will go even further in the fight against crime.

“Special thanks goes out to the entire Royal Bahamas Police Force and indeed the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the Grand Bahama and Northern Bahamas District. Farewell Grand Bahama, farewell!”

By ANDREW COAKLEY/Bahamas Information Services

Out-going officer in charge of Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas District of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, ACP Cunningham (right) signs papers in an official handover of the District to newly appointed Officer in Charge of Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas, Assistant Commissioner of Police Bernard Bonamy (left), during a press briefing at Police headquarters on Thursday, April 6, 2023. ACP Cunningham has retired following a two year stint in Grand Bahama.