Officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) are looking forward to the change in leadership from Police Commissioner Paul Rolle to his likely successor Clayton Fernander at the end of the year.
In preparation for his bigger role, Fernander has become more visible and vocal in recent months, speaking publicly on challenges facing the police force and his plans for the future.
Officers tell us they believe Fernander is the better man for the job as he is more personable and inviting than the current police chief, who is sometimes viewed as standoffish.
Morale on the force took a hit in 2017 when then-Commissioner Ellison Greenslade was forced to retire and shipped off to London. The senior officers under him were sent on forced vacation leave before being transferred to other government entities with no clearly outlined responsibilities.
The experienced officers’ return to active duty following the Progressive Liberal Party’s election to office in September 2021 was a welcomed change to the force.
Fernander, who was recently promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Police, has served as acting commissioner on at least two occasions during Rolle’s two trips to Dubai.
Rolle recently announced that his time as police chief is coming to an end as he approaches retirement age.
However, he initially dismissed claims that he would be stepping down following the FNM’s embarrassing defeat in the 2021 General Election.
Rolle, who joined the force in 1983, became commissioner in 2020. It was believed to be his reward for overseeing the political prosecutions of former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) members of parliament under the Minnis Administration, which appointed him as head of the Anti-Corruption Unit.
The unit failed to secure any convictions following the high profile court cases, which ended in acquittals or were tossed out.