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ACP Theophilus Cunningham returning to RBPF after being sent home

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Assistant Commissioner of Police Theophilus Cunningham is set to make a comeback on the Royal Bahamas Police Force in that senior position 19 months after Minister of National Security Marvin Dames forced him and seven other top-ranking officers to take accumulated vacation.

Cunningham, who is a staunch Free National Movement supporter, will return to active duty on Tuesday, according to RBPF insiders.

Due to his strong party allegiance, he was the only senior officer to survive the wipeout of the top brass of the police force last year.

As election season nears and the FNM rallies the troops, Dames was persuaded to bring Cunningham back to work.

However, the other seven officers were left to languish at home or in made-up security positions at various government entities because their party politics is not known.

In March 2019, Cunningham, then Deputy Commissioner Emerick Seymour, Senior Assistant Commissioner Stephen Dean, ACP Clarence Reckley, ACP Clayton Fernander, ACP Ashton Greenslade, ACP Ken Strachan and ACP Leamond Deleveaux were ordered to take their many weeks of accumulated vacation. 

After their forced leave ended, Strachan was shipped off to man the two juvenile schools out East and Fernander was exiled to the Ministry of Health. Strachan is now suing and legal experts say he stands a strong chance of winning.

Dames claimed there was “nothing sinister” behind the massive shakeup and argued the police force was too “top heavy”. However, the forced vacations were followed by several rounds of promotions at the highest levels of the force.

Paul Rolle, who was greatly rewarded for the failed police prosecutions of two former Progressive Liberal Party Cabinet Ministers and one former PLP Senator, was appointed Commissioner of Police this year.

Ismella Davis-Delaney was promoted to Deputy Commissioner.

In April, Loretta Mackey, Craig Stubbs and Solomon Cash were promoted to the ACP rank while Kirkwood Andrews was promoted to Acting Assistant Commissioner.

Weeks later, nearly 70 police officers were promoted to Chief Superintendent and Superintendent.

So much for being too “top heavy”.

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