Former Police Commissioner Laments Stalled Reform Agenda

A former Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, says Police Commissioners come under such intense pressure to perform, they might consider setting up death squads to tame the crime monster.

He says in his experience serving as Commissioner for just under two years, the political directorate ignored his pleas to implement radical changes in the Constabulary.

The ex-army man says this is what lead to his eventual resignation.

Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin served as Commissioner of Police from December 2007 to November 2009, under Prime Minister Bruce Golding.

In that short time, there were three National Security Ministers – Derrick Smith, who lasted eight months; Colonel Trevor MacMillan, who served for ten months; and Dwight Nelson, who went on to serve for 21 months.

Lewin says he got nowhere with his visionary ideas to shake up the force.

During his tenure, he says he wrote two letters to the Security Ministers, both copied to Prime Minister Golding, outlining his four-point plan.

Rear Admiral Lewin says his ideas were ignored.

Nearly ten years, three Commissioners, and two more National Security Ministers later, and most of those ideas are just beginning to gain legs.

It was only last week that National Security Minister Robert Montague said the government has decided to retire scores of police who’re suspected of being corrupt.

And a new Act to transform the Constabulary from a Police Force to a Police Service is still in draft stage.

Rear Admiral Lewin says this political inertia made him throw in the towel.

Yet, he says the political pressure to perform was so great that Commissioners might consider death squads to eliminate criminals.

He says transforming the Constabulary is a long-term mission that will take at least ten years. And he’s placing the burden on the political directorate to make the policies that will result in that transformation. Otherwise, he says, any new Police Commissioner is doomed.