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Policing The Bahamas in 2023

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The force, metaphorically, has gone from a sleepy one horse town to a bustling metropolitan city with officers combating serious crime on a daily basis.



As I See It

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – For clarity, the police are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state, with the aim to enforce the law, to ensure the safety, health, and possessions of citizens, and to prevent crime and civil disorder. 

A police officer’s lawful powers include, arrest and the use of force legitimized by the state via the monopoly on violence.

So there you have it! That is what policing is about. The Royal Bahamas Police Force, founded on March 1, 1840 and having just celebrated an anniversary, is now 183 years old. 

The force, metaphorically, has gone from a sleepy one horse town to a bustling metropolitan city with officers combating serious crime on a daily basis. No longer are policemen able to enjoy the dream of being called to give a tongue lashing to a wayward child, but instead they have to inform a mother that her son has succumbed to a gang related death. 

We are quick to shout in anger from our mountain tops when we believe police officers “rough up” people, but I strongly believe that if an officer gives you instructions and you comply, there would be no “rough” reaction. In other words, “Don’t start nothin’! Won’t be nothin’”. Make sense?

Now I am not one to condone any form of police brutality, but it is not as some would want you to believe. Not every case is a result of an officer being a bully and going berserk on a civilian for no reason.  Whether we want to believe it or not, we are living in a society that is heading down the road towards lawlessness. 

Police on a crime scene

Officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, are being tested daily by hardened criminals or young thugs who want to be famous by showing how fearless they are. Gone are the days when those who ran afoul of the law trembled when an officer shouted, “Don’t move!”.

These days, at any given moment, criminals can fire gunshots at officers without any form of provocation. If an officer is the enforcer of the law, then how does the public expect the officer to respond to that sort of thing? In my opinion the officer has to demand respect from the thug if the thug wants to “brush up” against him or her. 

I have many brothers who are law enforcement officers and they tell me of stories where criminals, thugs and “wanna be” thugs are most disrespectful to them and show no fear of dying or going to jail. Who is raising these people?

I think Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander is doing his best at the helm with his officers now making quick arrests following heinous crimes. Now only if the court system would stop letting the thugs out when the police have done the work. 

Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander

What I ask is that these officers are properly compensated, have adequate benefits and are promoted in a timely manner because of their worth and because every day that they report to work, can be the day that they lose their lives. 

What I’ve also noticed is that rogue officers are being put off the force and or tried for their corrupt acts. This is a good practice as no one is above the law and those charged with enforcing it should be upstanding. 

It’s very difficult being an officer, currently and we should really give them a break sometimes instead of being all over them like a cheap suit. Brave is the soul that signs up to enforce law and even braver is the soul that answers the call to work the streets. 

The Commissioner worked the street back in the day with outstanding officers like Basil Dean and Leon Bethel. He knows the streets.  Basil Dean was not only a great marksman, but an exceptional investigator. Although our years of age differed, I am happy to have called him a friend. 

I am embarrassed sometimes at the high rates of crime. Overnight murders are a hard pill to swallow, but I have faith that our police force is improving and doing its best to make our streets safer. Well that’s how I see it, anyway.

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