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Chair of the SVG Police Welfare Association, Sergeant Brenton Smith, was informed on Wednesday that he had been deemed as having resigned his post as a police officer.(iWN file photo)
Chair of the SVG Police Welfare Association, Sergeant Brenton Smith, was informed on Wednesday that he had been deemed as having resigned his post as a police officer.(iWN file photo)

Head of the Police Welfare Association in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Station Sergeant Brenton Smith was informed today (Wednesday) that he was deemed to have resigned his job as a police officer.

Smith, who has been a police officer for 27 years, did not comply with the government’s mandate that police officers, and a wide cross-section of public sector workers, deemed “frontline employees”, vaccinate against a COVID-19 if they are to continue in their jobs.

He, however, told iWitness News that he does not consider himself as having resigned and would challenge the government’s decision.

“I have been fired,” Smith told iWitness News in a telephone interview.  

He told iWitness News that the letter informing him of the government’s decision was hand delivered by a sergeant of police.

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The Dec. 8 letter, signed by the Chief Personnel Officer, Arlene Regisford-Sam, was copied to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security, the Commissioner of Police, the Director General — Finance, the Accountant General, the Director of Audit, and the Comptroller, Inland Revenue Department.

“I have to inform you that the Police Service Commission has noted that you, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with Rule 5 of the Public Health (Public Bodies Special Measures) Rules 2021,” Regisford-Sam’s letter said.

It said that as a result of Smith’s failure to comply with the rule, he had been absent from duty without leave Since Nov. 22, pursuant to Rule 8 of the rules.

“Accordingly, on behalf of the Police Service Commission, I have to inform you that you are deemed to have resigned your office with effect from December 7th, 2021, and have ceased to be an officer, in accordance with Section 73A of the Police Act, Chapter 391 of the Laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

“On behalf of the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, I would like to thank you for the service you have rendered during your period of employment, and, also, to wish you success in the future,” Regisford-Sam said. 

Smith told iWitness News he was not surprised to have received the letter, as lower-ranked officers had received similar letters from Commissioner of Police Colin John on Tuesday.

Smith said he has seven days in which to appeal and he intends to do so. “I think all of the persons who received letters, I would advise them as well to appeal it.”

He told iWitness News that he is still unvaccinated and “for what I am seeing now, not at all” does he have any plans to get vaccinated in the near future.

“Based on what I am seeing out of England, they’re talking about a third shot which really gonna make them fully vaccinated. That’s not even the booster. I think Pfizer sent out something today as well saying that the fourth shot is basically a booster shot.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Pfizer said that “preliminary laboratory studies demonstrate that three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine neutralise the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529 lineage) while two doses show significantly reduced neutralisation titers”. 

Smith said:

“So why am I going to be injecting myself like that? I am not going to be doing that. I won’t do that. It is only a matter of time to prove that the vaccine is not as safe as they want to tell us. It is not as safe as they predicted. It is not.”
He noted that the letter did not say anything about his benefits. 

“I think the other letters from the commissioner’s level spoke of persons receiving their benefits. This one did not say anything about it. But I will say this again, if the government thinks that they want my benefits more than I, let them have it. I’ll fight, you know; I’ll fight because I still have a family but at this time, I am not worried about benefits.

“I am worried about the road that we are heading down as a country, as a police force. So, if my benefits are going to open the eyes of other persons, that’s what I want. Because it is never about Brenton Smith. It is never about me being individualistic about how Vincentians are becoming these days. This is a broader issue than me and my benefits. Yes, of course, there can be economic challenges and difficulties. But, whoever said that this world was going to be an easy one?”

Smith told iWitness News that about 13 people have received “dismissal” letters from the police chief  as a result of the mandate and some officers are still awaiting responses to their application for medical or religious exemptions from taking the vaccine. 

Smith was fired nine days after he appeared in court, as a station sergeant of police — even after the mandate came into effect and he was unvaccinated — and testified in a matter on behalf of the prosecution.

The rule under which he was fired, considered him to have been absent from work even on the day when he testified in court. 

Asked if he would testify on behalf of the Crown in matters that are still pending, Smith told iWitness News: 

“I have a responsibility to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to see that justice is being done and they are not to be faulted for what is happening here to me. So I will still go to court, I will give evidence on behalf of the Crown because I believe that is the right thing for me to do. There are too many innocent persons outside there that need justice and if I can be part of that, giving evidence so that justice can be done, I will continue to do so.

8 replies on “SVG’s police welfare chief loses job over vaccine mandate”

  1. Leonard slater says:

    As a police officer , are you saying that you are above the law or that you are the law ? Emperor Smitrh, wake up and smell the coffee.I can now see why there is an escalation of lawlessnes on the Island.

  2. The Unitarian Minister and 19th century progressive christian,Theodore Parker, once said:”I do not pretend to understand the moral arc of the universe,the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways.I can calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight;I can divine it by conscience.But from what I see,I am sure it bends towards justice” I am also sure that, time is longer than twine.I am also sure that, though the night of evil,fear, bulling,cowardice and the syringe gulag operation may be long, but it cannot and never wil it be able to circumscribe the light of truth. I congratulate Mr.Smith and all the Teachers,Policemen,Doctors, Nurses and all other fellow Vincentians, for their bold, courageous and herioc stand against Gonsalves senseless tyranny.When truth and right is on your side,you only have to ask for patience to out-wait darkness and evil.Vindication is sure as the day follows the night.I want to remind the cowards who are gladly handing out the tyrant’s letters of termination.The African sage Aesop said,”Better to starve free than be a fat slave”.Plato tells us,”To do injustice is the the greatest of all evils” When you support wrong done to your fellowmen, because some tyrant in power tells you to do so. Be aware of what Aesop tells us.”Those who voluntarily put power into the hands of a tyrant must not wonder if it be at last turned against themselves”. God is always on the side of the oppressed and He is of purer eyes to behold injustice and oppression and do nothing about it.God is on your side my fellow Vincentian who stands for the right.

  3. Bernadette Martin says:

    This is so unfair and indeed inhumane treatment. Are we animals that we no longer can decide for ourselves? Who are we? Every one has a right to seek medical attention but if I decide not to, no one has a right to force it upon me..
    It is so obvious that many people have been dying now more than we have ever seen in our lives… people dying like flies in the Caribbean,young,middle aged and the elderly and most of them are victims of the vaccination,double doses at that….but the who says nothing concerning these death but when an unvaccinated person dies it makes highlights. A no vaccinated person dies.The writing is on the wall ..clear like crystal. Those who have ears to hear let them hear and those who have eyes to see are seeing but do not want to believe.The time is Quickly approaching when thousands of our people shall die,it is at that time we would want to take stock but it will be too late. If I am seeing with my eyes all these death that I am now seeing and had never seen in my life and I still take my good senses and allow people to jab me knowingly that it will kill me What would I be doing to myself? I love myself,I love God and I believe in one report and that is the report of God and no man will instill fear in me to commit suicide ….No Way…. wheel and come again.No man on this earth will cause me to kill myself I shall die natural death .

  4. Keivin Glasgow says:

    The laws of a Country are made by Men who maybe of Questionable Character with impure motives, therefore the Law maybe unreasonable and tyrannical so Mr Smiths position is Justifiable on the Grounds that his right to control what enters his body is being violated. So you my Friend are weak and ignorant of the Issue at Hand. The science clearly states that it is not safer to be around the Vaccinated because they still catch and spread covid and are subject to all infection prevention protocols. So tell me Mr Law abiding citizen what salvation is found in mandating the vaccine? Today or tomorrow it may be learned that the Vaccines cause major chronic disease because enough time has not passed to fully validate its safety what then is the Government gonna say to those pressured into receiving it. What fund is set aside to award damages to those potentially affected persons? Who is going to answer and pay for potential suffering? I don’t know whether the vaccine is safe over the Long term nor do the Scientists nor do you, so an individual should assume the risk all by himself with no pressure.

  5. Why it’s not faire. Fire all who are refusing from complying to the demands of taking the shot. The people have to survive this I’m out little island. Today you may feel good and tomorrow you are ready for the grave. Look out for the children. Get rid of the teachers and all government workers who don’t want to comply.

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