Acting Commissioner of Police, Colin John. (Photo: Lance Neverson/Facebook)

Acting Commissioner of Police Colin John has confirmed that a police corporal was transferred in July because he allowed Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday to tour the police station in Owia.

The police chief further said that the decision was fully his and said that he stands by it, saying that the officer did not observe police protocol.

“It is not because it was the Leader of the Opposition. There are certain areas in the police force that are out of bounds for members of the public,” John said on Boom FM on Monday.

“For members of the public to access that area, they must get the expressed permission of the commissioner of police.”

Among those areas, he mentioned “the back of the station”.

“What was reported to me was the police officer was there on duty, the Leader of the Opposition and two other persons came there and they asked them to see the station. He allowed them in without seeking the approval of the commissioner.

“They went there and took photos and things of that nature,” he said.

He said such actions could be a security breach.

“There are certain protocols regarding the organisation,” he said, adding that it is “coincidental that the person who visited the police station was the Leader of the Opposition.

The top cop said the decision was totally his.

“No discussion with anyone else. It was a breach of protocol,” he said, adding that he would have made the same decision had the person visited the station been anyone else, including a government senator or minister of government.

“As I said, it is just protocol. You need to follow a certain protocol. You get the permission of the commissioner of Police for such visits to take place.

John said he subsequently spoke to the police officer who “indicated that he did not know about what he was supposed to do.

“So, I told him, well, in the future, things like that, you know you have to clear it with the commissioner.”

He said the Owia Police Station falls under the leadership of the Georgetown Police Station and the officer should have called his superiors at Georgetown, and that officer would have sought that permission.

“It is an internal mechanism, an internal protocol within the organisation,” he said, adding that the transfer was not punishment.

“It is just that I felt that he should have been more responsible and that he did not adhere to the protocol so I felt that he needed to be somewhere where he needed to be more supervised.”

The host, Dwight “Bing” Joseph laughed as the commissioner was responding.

Joseph said: “I laughed because I can’t see that decision being made if Julian Francis turned up to a police station in Owia and you would do the same. I find it very difficult to believe that would have taken place.”

The police chief said, “It would have.”

The officer has been transferred to Kingstown, “where he is supervised,” John said.

“At Owia, you have some degree of autonomy out there. He was there at a decision where he was in a position to make decisions on his own… So, where he is now, he is more supervised, where other persons are there more immediately above him.”

13 replies on “COP defends decision to transfer officer after Opposition Leader’s visit”

  1. So why was Otto Sam demoted and transferred from headmaster at the Lowmans Windward Anglican School to headteacher of the South Rivers Methodist School in September 2009 after he expressed concern about an unannounced vist by the PM to his school?

    Why wasn’t Ralph Gonsalves transferred or demoted instead?

    We really have a double standard in this country between “red” and “yellow” which is why Bing had to laugh.

  2. The Opposition Leader should have the necessary security clearance to visit a Govmernment property, however he should not be allowed/permitted to take photograph etc

  3. Where’s the protocol for government officials? Dr Friday is TOTALLY at fault for this incident. No government official should be turning up unannounced to any institution, including police stations and schools except in a private capacity.

    I suspect the commissioner just pulled these protocols from the furthest recess of his nether regions cause since when we in vincyland ever follow protocols.

    By the way, was this transfer really necessary? Is the COP really saying that the opposition leader is a security threat? Lawd hav mercy.

  4. Rawlston Pompey says:

    GOOD LEADERSHIP

    Environmental influences, pressure and docility to secure tenure often
    forced good Commissioners to do the unthinkable.

    Without facts, this may not necessarily be said in the instant case.

    Yes, there are protocols and Force Standing Orders. Yes, they shall
    be followed. Yes, there is punishment and there is reward.

    The purposes for which visitation is desirous by ‘…high-profile political
    personalities’ shall always be known to the Commissioner. For guided
    tours, written approval is necessary.

    However, an officer ignorant or so feigning, of protocols and/or non-existent
    Force or Station Standing Orders, is as much as culpable as those who should
    brief or have them available at Stations for the guidance of personnel.

    Impulsive transfer cannot, and will not change or reverse what has occurred.

    The officer may have been chided and corrected. This is often what good police
    leadership is all about.

    Not emotive humiliation and frustration. These often breath animosity and contempt.

    That which a Commissioner should know, is that the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal
    Parliamentary Opposition today, could become the Prime Minster tomorrow.
    Harbor no illusions, Commissioners showing partiality, partisanship or subserviency, must go.

    Be careful Commissioner. From professional knowledge, have seen
    many that fell from political grace or outlived ‘…extraneous usefulness,’
    despised and sacked and replaced by quacks.’

    Though they were not quacks, knew it had happened to two of my friends
    ‘…former Commissioners William Harry and Osborne Quow.’

    Met both at the Barbados Police Training Center [1985]. Very nice fellows
    and very good Commissioners.

  5. For decades, police constables have taken women into the so-called restricted sleeping areas of various police stations to engage in sexual intercourse.

    Will this acting commissioner be honest enough to admit to this age old practice?

  6. Exactly! I agree with the COP.

    …Had to be some knuckle-head officer to make such a decision. Allowing “anyone” to take a tour of the Station without proper authorization.

    As for that idiot boy Bing, being so disrespectful to the commissioner. He should know what goes around, comes around. Word of advice ” …Fail to honor people, they fail to honor you”.

  7. The decision of the Commissioner of Police is being construed as political is being asinine and seems to be like a “Political football” being kicked around willy-nilly by persons with little to no athleticism.

    Firstly, the decision by the Opposition leader to put that Corporal in this predicament speaks volume of the lack of respect for the Office of the Commissioner. I would imagine that his aspiration one day is to become the Prime Minister and anyone would expect the protocol of that office be adhered to as any other office of authority. Yet in the many comments hardly any criticized his decision.

    Secondly, The officer in question had the autonomy to do many things that day including consulting with his immediate supervisors instead of making a decision on his own, which resulted in him being placed in a position wherein he can have 24/7 supervision. “To whom much is given much is require.” I hope this is a lesson learned for the officer.

    Thirdly, the decision of the Top COP is not irrational and unusual. And the mere fact that he is standing by his decision on good premise is an indication that he has thought about his decision and carried through on it. The positive of that decision is that the COP recognizes that this officer needs mentoring and he has created the environment for this to nurture. This demonstrates good leadership.

    So political footballers stay on the field created in your minds and let the people appointed to positions of trust do their job without interference.

  8. What good for the goose is also good for the gander. Why when the PM visited the school without a clearence from the teacher was reprimanded?

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