‘I followed procedure’
Former deputy chief testifies in court
The cross-examination of retired Deputy Commissioner of Police Bertie Hinds, in the police promotions civil case, continued today before Justice Margaret Reifer.
When questioned by attorney-at-law Ralph Thorne, Hinds said that though he was among officers superseded during his time in the Royal Barbados Police Force, he did not make an issue out of it.
“I cannot promote myself . . . I experienced it, but I did not take it to heart,” he told the No. 2 Supreme court today.
Hinds was on the stand in the civil matter where 14 police officers, who were up for promotion, had their names removed from the original list. The group has since challenged that decision.
Hinds also recalled that while former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin was on vacation for a month in 2010, he acted in the position and during that time, promoted about ten senior officers.
“I followed procedure,” he noted.
He said this was done after a directive came from the Chief Personnel Officer in writing, instructing him to “process promotions”. He then sent a letter of recommendation on to the Police Service Commission and as far as he could recall, all of the gazetted officers were promoted.
Hinds explained that in the case of gazetted officers, from Senior Superintendent and up, the Commissioner of Police, his deputy, assistant commissioners and the Human Resources Officer would meet to decide on those promotions.
He added that appraisals, interviews and discussions would normally take place. Hinds acknowledged that once promotions were related to officers across the board, the process could take longer than a month.
However, Hinds said that since he knew promotions were done annually, as Deputy Commissioner he ensured that the information relating to all gazetted officers and inspectors was available to him by mid-July. That being the case, it was not difficult to make recommendations relating to high-ranking police officers since “all the material was before me”, he remarked. It therefore did not need to take longer than a month.
Thorne is representing Superintendent Jeddar Robinson, Assistant Superintendents Elphene Moore, Vernella Wiltshire, Richard Boyce, Antonio Forte and John Maxwell, along with Inspectors Elliott Bovell, Barry Hunte, Trevor Blackman and Roderick Walcott.
Thorne is also appearing on behalf of Station Sergeants Sonia Boyce and Vernon Moore and Sergeant Noel Moore.
Sergeant Errol Ellis’ attorney is Alair Shepherd, QC.
Meanwhile, Tariq Khan is representing the Police Service Commission and Donna Brathwaite, QC, and Jared Richards are representing the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General.
The matter continues today.