NASSAUI| Bahamas Press is reporting the passing of the former Commissioner of Police and Bahamas High Commissioner to London Mr. Paul Farquharson.
Mr. Paul Farquharson was born January 10, 1949, in Burnt Ground, Long Island to proud parents Ural Farquharson and Martha Knowles. His father, who was the head teacher at Glinton’s All-Age School, left Long lsland for New Providence seeking urgent medical care. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his illness. His mother left Long Island to attend the funeral, leaving young Paul, only 18 months at the time, in the custody of close friends Henry and Margaret Pratt. The Pratts, who were responsible for seven children of their own, cared for Paul. Other concerned members of the community also assisted and together ensured that he was taken care of well. As was required by law during that time, he left Glinton’s All-Age School at the age of 14 and sought employment Paul Farquharsonas a gardener’s assistant at Chub Cay Club in the Berry Islands. He was soon promoted to dish washer and, at the age of 17, Paul’s hard work eventually led to other promotions, including waiter and head-waiter.
Determined not to allow the unfortunate circumstances of his childhood to determine his ultimate destiny and armed with an early desire to serve his country in a more meaningful way, Paul enlisted in the Police Force on December 12, 1966. As an aspiring police officer, there was something unique about Mr. Farquharson. While a few of his colleagues engaged in activities some may have regarded as meaningless or negative, Paul developed himself by attending institutions in the evening. He was mentored by the noted Justice Emmanuel Osadabey and Psychologist Dr.Timothy McCartney. This tutelage reinforced the solid foundation previously laid and contributed to his steady climb through the ranks of the Force.
Mr. Farquharson remained focused and diligent in the performance of his duties and was given many high-profile assignments, including aide-de-camp to His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; and His Grace, the Most Reverend and Rt. Honorable Dr. Robert Runcie. He was assigned to Government House for an extended period, and there he served as aide-de-camp to former Governor General, the late Sir Gerald Cash (one of Paul’s role models), from 1984 to 1988. Mr. Farquharson’s career advanced rapidly. He attained the rank of Sergeant within his first eight years of service and reached the Gazetted rank of Assistant Superintendent in 1988.
He eventually entered the policy level at the rank of Assistant Commissioner in July of 1996. In January of 2000, Mr. Farquharson assumed the role of Acting Commissioner and immediately embarked on vigorous public relations campaigns. Along with his administrative team, community and religious leaders, he took to the streets of New Providence and opened the channels of communication between residents and police.
He sought ways in which the police could improve service to the Bahamian people and appointed a number of consultative committees throughout various divisions in New Providence. These committees helped to formulate new strategies for policing more effectively and efficiently.
As Commissioner, Mr. Farquharson was determined to “root-out” any semblance of corruption and improve the image of the Force. He introduced a number of policies for the effective and efficient running of the Force. One such policy was the Policy for the Prevention, Detection &Treatment of Corruption, Dishonesty P & Unethical Behavior. By introducing this document, the Commissioner indicated that the problems of corruption, dishonesty, and unethical behavior were a threat to all organizations. However, he furthered that they exist particularly in law enforcement agencies – due to the nature of the work and the fact that a great part of police work is discretionary and unsupervised.
Mr. Farquharson intended to ensure that the Force did all it could to protect its officers while they relentlessly pursued wrongdoers. He held that utilizing strategies to make officers less vulnerable to attempts by criminals and less likely to succumb to corruption would result in greater productivity in the Force.
Among the many programs and initiatives accomplished under his watch were the new School and visitor Patrol Units and the Urban Renewal programme. He was also instrumental in establishing several associations, including the first Caribbean Women’s Police Association and the Retired Police Officers’ Association.
Mr. Farquharson was of the firm belief that the Police Department should be one of this country’s most respected entities. As a result, the Force is equipped with a well-established Human Resources Department and a spiritual advisor to address any ethical concerns officers may have.
Mr. Farquharson educational achievements are many, and include a Bachelor of Applied Science from Louisiana Baptist University, Shreveport, Louisiana; and a Diploma in Applied Criminology & Police Studies from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. His many professional certifications and courses include: the Strategic Command Course, Police Staff College, Bramshill, United Kingdom; Certificate in Public Order Training from the Metropolitan Police, London, England; the Overseas Command Course, Police Staff College Bramshill; and many others in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. He is also the recipient of the Queens Police Medal (QPM), a coveted award for Outstanding Performance in Law Enforcement. His distinguished memberships include the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); International Association of Police Community Relations; the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP), where he currently serves as President; and the Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police.
Mr. Farquharson also serves as the world Regional Chairman of the Caribbean and Latin American Region of the IACF! This capacity, coupled with his Presidency of the ACCP, presented a unique opportunity. In October 2006, Mr. Farquharson was invited to attend the 1 9’h Extraordinary Meeting and the First Meeting of Tourism Security held in San Jose, Costa Rica. This was the first time that Police Commissioners of the Caribbean and Latin America met officially to share their best law enforcement practices. Mr. Farquharson’s role during these talks was vital since he was the catalyst for such a merger.
There were a number of Caribbean countries represented, including Belize, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Other countries in attendance included El Salvador, Guatemala (whose COP is the IACP’s chairperson of Central America), Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama. Although it was a conference on Tourism Security, it also presented an opportunity for the Commissioners to meet each other face to face. COP Farquharson invited them to convene in Nassau the following year for the 2nd conference for Caribbean and Latin American Commissioners. The conference ran from October 11 – 13, 2006. Commissioner Farquharson gave a presentation to the attendees on October 12.
Following his distinguished career as on the Force Mr. Farquarson entered the diplomatic service and was appointed High Commissioner to the Court of St. James’s in London until 2008.
Other personal involvements include membership in the Anglican Church’s Men’s Organization, the Salvation Army, The Bahamas Humane Society, and The Bahamas Plays and Films Control Board.
Mr. Farquharson was married to the former Sharon Major and together they have three children; Paul Jr., Vonnette and Audril.
May he rest in peace.