PLP Victimizes, Browbeats and Persecutes the Police Staff Association
After daring to challenge the political directorate on the issue of overtime pay for Police Officers, members of the Police Staff Association (PSA) are again on the receiving end of victimization at the hands of the government. For months, members of this Christie administration, specifically the Jr. Minister of National Security Keith Bell has publicly persecuted and browbeat the association in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the organization and their concerns.
The government’s refusal to compensate police officers for the additional hours worked as part of a 12 hour system implemented in September 2013 and then again in February of 2014 shows a lack of respect and disregard for the work of hard working police officers and the personal sacrifices they make to ensure the safety of the wider public. Even in the face of a recent court ruling, which determined that the government was in fact required to compensate those officers in the amount of 16 million dollars, the government has flat out refused, opting instead to appeal that decision.
Now, it appears the reprisal against executives of the police staff association has gone a step further and it is even more obvious that this administration will not stop until they have silenced those officers altogether. In what can only be described as the singular greatest act of intimidation on the part of government officials, executive members of the PSA have been returned to normal desk duty. Since its inception, the primary executives of the PSA have been allowed to spend their time dealing with the welfare of their members and not having to undertake the regular desk duties. That decision, effective the 10th of August 2015 adds insult to the injury of the government’s refusal to honor the Supreme Court ruling and seemingly signals the government’s intent to penalize the organization for defending the rights of its members.
While, we understand, that the Commissioner of Police issued the desk duty order, it is clear that once again, executives in this PLP government are using the Police Commissioner as a pawn to carry out their dirty work. It must be noted that on more than one occasion Mr. Greenslade has come to the defense of the officers under his charge. He has, in all instances shown the kind of support for those hard working men and women that should be expected from a commanding officer. It is therefore unlikely that Mr. Greenslade, of his own volition, would attempt to sanction the officers whose rights he himself has publicly championed.
The DNA calls on the Government of the Bahamas to honor the spirit of the judgment as outlined by the Supreme Court. The time has come for the government to halt its interference in the business of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and allow the officers and in particular the Police Commissioner to carry out the work they have been mandated to do.