Force undermined!

Ex top cop hints at subversion and meddling in RBPF

Former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin has spoken publicly on issues related to the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) for the first time since the Caribbean Court of Justice dismissed his request for special leave to appeal his removal from office four years ago.

In an hour-long interview with Barbados TODAY, Dottin shied away from making any direct accusations, choosing instead to speak in general terms.

He also did not address specifics of his own removal in June 2013 when he was ordered by the Police Service Commission (PSC) into early retirement “in the public interest”, saying while he felt the public had not had the full details, he would wait until after his legal matter was settled before talking about it.

“I don’t thing the reason for my removal has been fully explained to Barbadians and I have not said anything about it publicly as well mainly because the court has sealed my response to these matters. But at some time I will have an opportunity to speak on these matters such that Barbadians can understand what took place.”

However, Dottin spoke of subversion of the promotion process, and stopped just short of accusing the authorities of political interference in the running of the Force.

Describing himself as a strong believer in the commissioner’s independence, Dottin, who ran the RBPF from 2003 to 2013, said he had experienced problems in freely doing his job.

“I don’t want to be controversial, but I hear sometimes about the difficulties that commissioners experience. I experienced some of them as well,” Dottin said during an interview at his residence.

“The powers that be need to be sensitive to these matters. There are matters that are within the domain of the police commissioner and the commissioner needs to be given a free hand to lead his organization.”

One of the most controversial issues towards the end of his tenure was that of promotion.

The PSC angered Dottin and several officers when it rejected his recommended promotions list and replaced it with its own. Fourteen officers have since sued the PSC over the decision.

The retired chief told Barbados TODAY there was something fundamentally wrong with any policy that ignored the commissioner’s input in relations to promotions.

“There are certain mechanisms in our Constitution that have to deal with how public servants are treated in relation to promotion and discipline and so on. But I feel that some of these mechanisms are being subverted,” the former commissioner stressed, without mentioning the PSC.

“I don’t think that anybody outside of the force has all of the information necessary to make intelligent responses to issues of promotion in the absence of full input from the commissioner. I think it is a matter that is bearing heavily on the Force.”  Just last month, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that because Dottin’s claimed relief was to enable him to continue in office and he had retired before his appeal to the regional court, his appeal was without practical merit.   

His substantive case concerning his dismissal remains to be heard by the Barbados High Court.

He has asked the Court to determine that there is no such concept as “administrative leave” and that he could not have been compulsorily retired in the public interest under the Pensions Act.

Asked if he had experienced political interference while he was the commissioner, Dottin would not be drawn into giving a direct response.

“I wouldn’t want to, at this time of the problems that we are having, excite opinions about that. I would merely say that leadership in the public sector is a very difficult undertaking. I will deal with my own responses to that in due course.”

However, he said there were “red lines” that should not be crossed, noting that this had to do specifically with situations where subordinates in the force would bypass the commissioner and appeal directly to authorities outside of RBPF.

“I think that is a very dangerous practice and it undermines the leadership of the commissioner. There has been some of that and it needs to be stamped out. Policymakers and those persons who have responsibility for making decisions and people who would want to get certain outcomes outside of the traditional way, or accepted way, they have to give them short shrift when they seek to engage and have that type of results through those means,” Dottin maintained.

The entire interview will be carried as a special Barbados TODAY focus feature tomorrow.

5 Responses to Force undermined!

  1. Saga Boy August 15, 2017 at 12:59 am

    You are not squeaky clean. Why did you allow or go along with the powers that be in the BLP to tap Owen’s phone? You should have been locked up.

  2. BIGSKY August 15, 2017 at 5:23 am

    This man Darwin Dottin is a good and honest man.He was doing a good job and to my mind was removed for no reason at all.

  3. Carson C Cadogan August 15, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Is this the same man who was pitched forked into the Commissioner’s chair over more senior and better qualified policemen?

  4. Wayne Webster August 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Mr Dottin is to be commended for sharing as much as he did. I am sure he could have said much more but this is Barbados. Those who know how some things work in this island fully understand what he was implying. In some arenas it is all about one word – CONNECTIONS.

  5. Tony Waterman August 15, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    In 99.9999999 of the time (Recurring ad infinitum) if you Live by the Sword, you are Likely to Die by the Sword. and that is Just what happened in this Case.

    The RBPF, the BDF, the Judicial System, The Church and some more, are all SUPPOSED to be at Arms length when it comes to Governments, but in Barbados that is NOT the Case, and that is so sad, considering that we are SUPPOSED to be one of the World’s Democracies.


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