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Munroe defends police points competition

Hon. Wayne Munroe, KC - Minister of National Security

By: Keile Campbell
When asked about a leaked document outlaying a point system where Royal
Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) officers are rewarded based on arrests as well as
other crime fighting activities, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe
clarified his earlier denial of the leaked document, at the time calling it fake.
He is now stating that he was referring to the fact that there is no monetary
payment scheme for arrests.
He goes on to explain that there is no budget allocation for such a structure and
it is only a means to help determine who is promoted.
“There’s no confusion, nobody is paid for it, and that was what I was
responding to. They have no budget to pay anyone for it. The reality of it is this;
if you have a policeman who’s supposed to be a traffic policeman, who’s
supposed to be reporting drivers, how do you think we determine who’s to be
promoted?” Minister Munroe explained.
Continuing he said, “So if I have a traffic policeman who writes absolutely no
tickets, and one who writes a bunch of tickets, both constables, and I have to
decide who’s going to become a corporal, these are markers of performance.
What was being suggested was they were being paid money. As far as I’m
aware they’re not paid money. As far as I’m aware, there’s no budget to pay
them money.”
Minister Munroe goes on to explain that in other professions and industries
there is some form of merit system where the more productive employees and
staff are rewarded.
“In every field, whatever your performance standard is, you’re judged by it. So
if you drive into the Ministry of National Security, there’s a marine of the year
picture posted up. She would’ve been judged by standards – if you want to call
it incentive then it is incentive. If you go to the bank, there’ll be an Employee
of the quarter. Every school you go to there is a Teacher of the Year and they
get special parking and all of that,” Minister Munroe stated.
“I don’t run the operational side of police force. I know that when they send me
recommendations for promotions, which we’re undergoing now, they assess the
officers’ performance; because clearly you want to promote the performing
people, because that’s the whole point of it,” he argued.

Minister Munroe said as far as he understands the operation, it’s about
interdicting guns and criminals off the streets. However, he said as the minister
he is not responsible for the day-to-day running of the police force and how
officers conduct their crime prevention efforts.
“If the commissioner said that this is something to incentivize performance, and
the public is to be kept safe from uninsured, unlicensed cars off the streets; guns
being off the streets; criminals being off the streets; people who are wanted
under warrants of arrest being arrested and taken off the streets, surely you
incentivize the police to perform to those target, unless the public has no
difficulty with uninsured, uninspected, unlicensed vehicles; guns on the street;
people wanted for warrants walking around free,” Minister Munroe said.
The leaked document titled ‘Operation Teams – Performance Competition’
outlines a point system guideline where active operation units like Ceasefire,
Secure City, Drug Enforcement and Saturation Patrol units where the winning
team receive a special award with each officer on the team personally
commended by the commissioner of police with a letter of appreciation
highlighting their performance and placed on their personal file according to the
leaked document.
Commissioner Fernander said the program that will last for three months is an
in house initiative and that an investigation is underway to determine who
leaked the document.