The long wait is over for 40 police officers who today officially moved up in the ranks of the Royal Barbados Police Force after having waited for as long as three years for the elevation.
The officers received their appointment letters this afternoon during a brief ceremony at the Prince Cave Hall Auditorium at the District ‘A’ Police Station. The officers were promoted to the ranks of sergeant, station sergeant and inspector. One officer recommended for promotion died in the intervening period.
Among those moving up the ranks were former public relations officer with the force Roland Cobbler who now officially moves to the rank of Station Sergeant. Joining the rank of Inspector were, Bernard Harte, Markeith Gibson-Woodroffe and Martin Greenidge. There are also 17 new station sergeants and 25 sergeants. Among the latter is Reginald Blackman, the police cyclist who lost part of his foot in an accident while on duty in the north of the island.
In his brief remarks to the promoted officers, Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith said he was elated that the promotions could be announced. He lamented the length of time that the officers were made to wait.
“Good things come to those who wait but sometimes it is hard to have to wait so long,” he told the ceremony.
“Some of the very people here are already acting in ranks above the ranks that they would have obtained here this afternoon and a lot more are waiting to perform in higher ranks. This is quite a disheartening thing, but the reality is that this afternoon is the first step.
“The good thing about this was that all of these persons were recommended by the promotions board. This is really satisfying because it came with a lot of fight and it makes me feel proud that these persons who are so deserving of promotion have been finally elevated,” said COP Griffith.
The issue of promotions has been a contentious one within the force with first round of promotions in six years taking place last February. In her address to the nation two Fridays ago regarding the escalation of gun violence, Prime Minister Mottley promised to fix issues of police promotion, which she suggested had the effect of eroding morale within the Royal Barbados Police Force.
“You cannot have successive Commissioners of Police making recommendations for promotions in the police force based on their perception of performance and merit and discipline, and then have a Police Service Commission completely ignoring those recommendations and choosing to promote who they want on criteria known only to them,” she said.
This afternoon the commissioner pointed out that the officers were deserving of their promotion. He noted further that with right people in these key leadership positions, the force was in a much better position to rein in the country’s violent start to the year.
“I want to admonish all of you to ensure that at all times you give good leadership to those beneath you. Those ranks from sergeant to inspector are very important ranks in terms of what we do. These are the ranks that offer all of the force’s supervision that is required for us to do a good job at the end of the day.
“In the field they must ensure that we do things well and that Barbadians can feel safe as they move around. I know we have started the year not so well, but I am sure that with the dedicated officers that I have here we are going to pull it back and make sure that all goes well for the remainder of the year,” he said.