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Questions That Require Public Accountability
In an open letter to both former Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs and Deputy Commissioner Jack Ewatski last February which was given some prominence in the media, this writer had advised both gentlemen that, were he in the atmosphere in which they had found themselves, he would have tendered his resignation.
This letter was a follow-up to a previous letter in January which sought to put into some perspective, the reasons for the scourge of crime with which the country was faced. The conclusion was that, with all the best will in the world, neither a Gibbs nor an Ewatslki would have been able to bring any noticeable relief within the time-frame which had been bandied about by some in authority. given the fact that our “crime sores ran deep.”
It is well, for the sake of completeness, to reiterate some of the reasons for this writer arriving at this somewhat pessimistic conclusion:
1. It was clear that much of the difficulties in respect of performance being experienced with the Police Service was but a reflection of a malaise which was a feature of the labour force in the country generally;
2. There has been a general decay in family-life and morality and a noticeable lack of respect for both the Law and fellow citizens;
3. The population in general had been thirsting for a clear and sustainable indication that crime was being “licked;”
4. The population was made to believe, (perhaps opportunistically), that the arrival of the two Canadians would have heralded a “new dawn” within some unofficial “time-frame” which was being bandied about;
5.The undisciplined and negative behaviour of the Police Social and Welfare Association towards the Commissioner and his Deputy was not making the task of managing the Police Service and attaining any pre-set objectives any the easier;
6. There were indications at the Hearings at the relevant Committee of the Parliament that the apparent inability of the officers to deliver, as envisaged, and the cost of their contracts were jointly an albatross from which the country ought to be relieved. In consequence,a public perception had emerged that the two gentlemen would have been doing the country a service were they to demit office and return to their native Canada.
In light of the circumstances reiterated above, this writer had concluded that it was in the country’s interest as well as in their own, were Messrs Gibbs and Ewatski to demit office. Well, they have now done so! One may speculate, however, as to the reasons and the timing of their simultaneous resignations eventually. Was it due to a need to salvage their reputations?
One suspects, however, that a seemingly not-dishonourable opportunity presented itself with the attempt at micro-management of the Police Service by the newly- appointed Minister of National Security and his public statements supporting the positions which were being taken by the Police Social and Welfare Association, in particular, the Association' s rejection of foreign officers and, even more fundamentally, the policy initiatives of Messrs Gibbs and Ewatski, as enshrined in “The 21st Century Policing Initiative.”
One may ponder whether or not this intrusion into the administration by the Minister may, in effect, be construed as a breach of contract on the part of the Government given the fact that the Commissioner is vested constitutionally with the power to administer the Police Service. Did this opening the way for both gentlemen to claim payment for the unexpired portion of their contracts? These are questions for which public answers are required.
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