Police Force holds historic graduation

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G Squad 2021 RC 4527 Arien McDonald received the Baton of Honor during the graduation ceremony of the Royal Bahamas Police Force on Friday, May 27, 2022. RC McDonald was presented the Baton by Acting Minister of National Security, the Hon. Jomo Campbell. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – For the first time, four squads graduated at the same time during a ceremony in Grand Bahama on Friday, May 27, 2022 with squads not only from New Providence, Grand Bahama, and the Fire Branch, but also the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force as well. “Excellence Beyond Borders” was the theme of the ceremony.

It was a lively display of drills and entertainment, showing family and friends some of what Squads F and G 2021, and A and F 2022 have been doing for the past five months.

Acting Minister of National Security, the Hon. Jomo Campbell congratulated the recruits for their months of training, and said their presence indicated they have met the training requirements and are prepared to serve their countries with courage, integrity, respect, and compassion.

“Our government remains committed to protecting all citizens and residents, simultaneously meeting their needs by providing solutions to safety and security.”

He added, “Our approach to national security is aggressive to address the scourge of crime and illegal activities that plague various areas of our society. Our vision is to extend our efforts beyond punitive measures and seek a more fair and equitable society for all citizens and residents and visitors alike.”

Since coming to office, the government recognizes there is a deficit of 900 officers in the rank of constable. “To rebuild the strength and ensure that the police force achieves its mandate, we must ensure that the crime fighting strategies and resources, inclusive of human capital, are in place to create safer communities and advance quality of life for all Bahamians.”

Also present were Minister of Social Services and Urban Development the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle, Deputy to the Governor General Cynthia Pratt, Senior members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Government and the Judiciary, family and friends of the graduates.
Commissioner Rolle congratulated the four squads, stating it was the first time four squads graduated in Grand Bahama, adding that officers were present from Bimini, Andros, San Salvador, Long Island, Nassau, and Grand Bahama. He said much is expected of the Royal Bahamas Police Force; and there are members of the public who will not care that they are new to the force — they must, he said, do their best to ensure public trust and encouraged them to exercise their duties with courage, integrity, and loyalty.

Commissioner of Police from the Royal Turks & Caicos Police Force, Trevor Botting, said he was honored to be there and be able to thank not only the Government of The Bahamas, but also the Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle for having his 13-member squad train in The Bahamas for five months.

If the display drills were any indication, both countries were benefitting from fine officers. The recruits, he said, through their training demonstrated resilience and commitment: in effect, a sound foundation has been laid for their future.

Following the official ceremony, as the recruits from all four squads performed their March Past, two fire trucks performed a Water Cannon Salute, which celebrates fire squad graduates.

BATON OF HONOR – F Squad 2022 RC 4556 Preston Cartwright received the Baton of Honor on Friday, MAY 27, 2022 during the Royal Bahamas Police Graduation Ceremony at the Sports Complex. Cartwright is seen receiving the Baton from Acting Minister of National Security the Hon. Jomo Campbell. Commissioner of Police, Paul Rolle is seen at left. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)
PHYSICALLY FIT – As a part of the graduation ceremony for the Royal Bahamas Police Force on Friday, May 27, 2022 recruits from all four squads participated in the PE Display that was enjoyed by all present. The ceremony was held at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)