During his Official Remarks at the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s New Year’s Church Service 2021, on January 3, 2021, Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin H. Dames said that it was important to note that, while devising its strategies for 2020, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) never could have foreshadowed what was to come.
“There were no blueprints or scripts to navigate you through the tumultuous seas of the COVID-19 crisis,” Minister Dames said, during the event held in the Rose Garden, on the grounds of the RBPF Headquarters. “It was one of those things you would find in the unexpected category.”
“Nevertheless, any successful police organization never loses sight of the fact that policing is a dynamic profession, and any planning must always take into account the unexpected,” he added. “Your response to the COVID-19 crisis is a testament
to the fact that you adjusted quickly and with the support of your sister law enforcement agencies, you devised and executed strategies at the highest level, which led to your success.
“History will record that your actions and unselfishness resulted in many lives being saved, and you continue to do so.”
Among those present at the Service included Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis; Governor-General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith; Permanent Secretary Marco Rolle; Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle, Deputy Commissioner of Police Ismella Davis-Delancy, and Senior Executive Leadership Team of the Police Force; Commander of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Raymond King; senior representatives and members of the Uniformed Branches; Police Force Chaplain Father Stephen Davies; President of the Bahamas Christian Council Bishop Delton Fernander and Senior Council Members; National Overseer for the Church of God of Prophecy in The Bahamas Bishop Franklin M. Ferguson; National Neighbourhood Watch Council Chairman Keno Wong; and numerous officers, stakeholders and civilians.
Minister Dames pointed out that, collectively, the RBPF remained committed to its values of courage, integrity, and loyalty. “I commend you, Commissioner Rolle, and your officers on the creative and benevolent approaches you adopted during 2020, to bring relief to those communities most in need,” he said. “It is acts of kindness and benevolence such as this, which will assist in fostering a more cordial relationship with those by whose consent you are privileged to serve.”
“Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the RBPF to shift a significant amount of its resources away from its core functions, you never lost focus; you continued to deliver on your strategic objectives for 2020 with significant success,” Min. Dames added. “Your balance approach in this regard has led to the seizure of 266 illegal firearms from off of our streets, and 3,945 rounds of ammunition during 2020.
“Albeit, there is still much work ahead of us, your yearly crime figures continue to reflect a downward trend in the major crime categories of murder and armed robberies.” Minister Dames pointed out that the murder count, which unofficially stands at 74, fell by 22 percent compared to last year when it was 95.
“This also reflects the lowest recorded murders in 15 years,” he noted. “Armed robberies fell by a whopping 41 percent — from 532 last year to 315 for the year 2020.
“This means that your persistence and 21 st century crime fighting strategies supported by investments in technologies and officers commitment to their profession are working,” Minister Dames said. “In addition, with the assistance of your partners both locally and abroad, you have successfully interdicted, disrupted and destabilized local and transnational crime organizations operating
in The Bahamas, throughout our region and around the world.”
Minister Dames said that as the RBPF continues to make steady progress in reducing crime and the fear of crime throughout the nation, he reminded the agency to always be cognizant of the oath each of its members would have taken upon becoming police officers. He said: “You are in a ‘service business.’ Your employers are the Bahamian people. In other words, they are your bosses. Treat them with respect and dignity at all times.”
Min. Dames told the RBPF officers present that, while they go about the business of ridding communities of those who seek to destroy them, they must remember that most of their encounters will involve law abiding citizens. “Your success will be predicated on how you treat them,” he said. “I am a firm believer that any successful police organization must, and I repeat, must have a genuine relationship with the communities they have sworn to serve.”
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