Budget: BPS To Be Reduced By Ten Officers

July 16, 2015

[Updated] The BPS has been considering “options to reach the Government’s three-year budget reduction targets” and ten police officers’ contracts will be allowed to expire, Commissioner of Police Michael DeSilva said, adding that “reducing the number of police officers has only been considered as a last resort and this has been a very difficult decision for me to take.”

Commissioner DeSilva said, “The BPS has been carefully considering our options to reach the Government’s three-year budget reduction targets.

“This year, we do not have the benefit of the ‘Furlough Day’ to meet the 5% target and we must also position ourselves for a further 3% reduction in 2016/17. We have been reducing our operational budget each year since 2009.

“Six years on, there is not much left to trim and I now have to consider reducing the cost of our police labour. Currently there is no agreement with the Bermuda Police Association to reduce the cost of salaries and benefits and that leaves me with a final option of reducing the number of officers.

“I have therefore taken the decision to allow 10 police officers’ contracts to expire over the next few months. The contract expirations are spread over time to help reduce operational impact. Reducing the number of police officers has only been considered as a last resort and this has been a very difficult decision for me to take.

“However, more contracts will likely be allowed to expire in 2016 to assist in meeting the budget reduction targets. This will not be good news to anyone but it is clear that it is not possible to keep all of our officers in service.

“Operational effectiveness remains my primary focus and I wish to assure the public that the effects on our core law enforcement duties will be minimal.”

Update 4.41pm: Commenting on the non renewal of certain police officer contracts, Premier and National Security Minister Michael Dunkley said, “The Commissioner indicated that these contracts would not be renewed and although this course of action is not the preferred option, it is one I support in light of the budgetary requirements of this ministry.

“This Government continues to support the police in the tough job they have to do every day and I am satisfied that there will be minimal impact on operational effectiveness and that the Commissioner and his team of officers can continue to do the job we rely on them to do.

“The fiscal realities created by the historic agreements with the Bermuda Police Association are the subject of active negotiations. We signalled in the Throne Speech and the Budget that these conditions had to be revised to take account of today’s economic climate.

“That commitment is unchanged and so our aim is to recognize the hard fought benefits gained in previous years but to foster greater equity in areas like health insurance where currently officers make no contributions unlike the majority of public and private sector workers.”

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Comments (48)

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  1. Young Professional says:

    This is what happens when you make cuts across the board. It is not good for operations, it is the easy way but totally ineffective. We are finally seeing crime trends decrease and now we are letting go officers.

    • Truth says:

      While the statement is essence is true, BPS is overflowing with cash and benefits. This is simply a bully tactic by BPS to not allow further cuts down the road…

      • Bill says:

        What world are you living in with crime trends decreasing? Have you not noticed the recent vehicle thefts, robberies, and assault problems Bermuda has been having?

    • Onion Juice says:

      Heard they were all from the Caribbean.

    • frank says:

      Police. Need to start. Paying their own. Health insurance that would save us some money

  2. James says:

    This is why I supported the furlough day!

  3. NO MORE WAR says:

    Government should never consider cuts to Bermudas only line of defence. All afforts should be made to ensure that the police budget remains sound without any cuts to it. Cutting the police while crime continues cannot be good for the overall safety of all who reside or visit Bermuda.

  4. blow in says:

    well the local gangsters will be happy

  5. Drewgle says:

    10 officers lose their job, but at least the rest of the government employees don’t have to take that extra furlough day…

    • Truth says:

      Let’s be real…there are plenty of places BPS can make cuts short of allowing 10 contracts to expire…how about changing their policy on unlimited sick leave for starters. Wake up people…this is simply a bully tactic by BPS..

      • Drewgle says:

        Or maybe they brought that idea to their employees and it was flatly rejected, leaving them no other option?

        If you only have the funds to pay 10 people, but you have 15 people on payroll, then 5 gotta go.

      • inna says:

        you must be one of the 10!

  6. Terry says:

    Key words here are “Contracts”.

    They came from somewhere else.
    Bermudians and long serving members are not affected.

    Come on Zane.
    Jump in.

    • Crystal says:

      Sorry but you’re wrong and wrong. In those 10 are both long serving and Bermudian Officers.

      • Terry says:

        You cannot make re……..

        Well maybe they have been there 28-35 years….
        Get facts right.

    • Drewgle says:

      That’s not the point…

      This is a sign of things to come – when there is no more fat to trim, the only thing left is redundancies. This will happen to ALL departments, even those where all employees didn’t come from “somewhere else”.

      Just because it’s not a Bermudian that loses their job doesn’t make it any better – there are 10 less jobs available for anyone – Bermudian or otherwise

  7. Sam says:

    You could cut the police budget by >25% and still improve the delivery of service if you simply followed these recommendations

  8. Morris says:


  9. Next says:

    Truth is a community that doesn’t need a large police force is one with low crime rate, and a civil populace. Less cops is great news.

  10. serengeti says:

    Just as long as those civil servants can keep their 14 weeks sick leave and 33 days vacation.

  11. Crime is up and tourism is down. Let’s get rid of some police officers and give the tourism authority huge bonus packages. Truly another world!
    I love my island!

  12. Terry says:

    Police Officers are on the line (front) all day night.
    For the fool above that states “less cops”, ……
    Well less CS who sit behind their desks all day and type s*** here, other blogs.

    Your looking at your own demise by entertaining them.

    I am just a concerned person.
    Go figure.

    • Simons says:

      You’re just a tiresome bore who needs to get outside.

  13. setson says:

    As long as the ones who r being released are all foreigners, I’m OK with this decision

  14. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    10 officers…hmmm…what’s that, a savings of a million dollars per annum?

  15. Seabee says:

    Lets do this, because crime is way down. After a couple of more armed robberies and a few more shootings the tourists will stop coming. That will be GREAT for the Island. How about getting rid of some of the bus drivers that drive like they own the road and drive while under the, of what ever they refuse to take a drug test for. No, no here’s one the Public Work workers that sit around most of the day and draw a pay check.
    No, lets get rid of police officers that’s a much better idea.

  16. um just saying says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the BPS was one of the few Govt departments that would not suffer any job losses, along with education and fire service. I remember hearing this in a news report a few months back.

  17. Y-Gurl says:

    Maybe we should be striving for quality not quantity

  18. Terry says:

    The officers that are being effected.
    Anyone know for fact the circumstances ?

    Comments here are mere speculation.


    • Jerry says:

      “affected”. Not only are you boring and annoying, but illiterate too.

  19. Self says:

    Maybe the BPS would save some money if they stop buying all those expensive cars for senior officers to drive around in!!!

  20. Voter (original) says:

    The probation service could probably use a few extra people, as they seem to be very overloaded with work

  21. Freshkid says:

    You have police officers that are on contract send them back home, do not renew their contracts. I’m sure you can find 10 off them….I know a few that are on contract and can go back home to their families. The ones that are ready for early retirement make them take it Please do not make bermudians lose their jobs. Send the contract workers home.

  22. Family Man says:

    At least we don’t have to cut any jobs in key areas like the Post Office or bus service.

  23. Interesting says:

    I wonder if the Governor and Premier knew about those cuts before the fact?
    The poor innocent COP had no other choice….
    Great Chess Move COP, now the police officers are worried, the Premier has to answer to the Public and the Governor is waiting for the response.

  24. bluebird says:

    And we are still borrowing $220Million dollars per year which will go on our $2.18BILLION dollar DEBT.
    So in less than 5 years we will have another $1BILLION dollars of DEBT to ad to our $2.18BILLION.
    Hay Naw Greece here we come.

  25. Jus' Askin' says:

    “… foster greater equity in areas like health insurance where currently officers make no contributions unlike the majority of public and private sector workers.”

    Mr. Dunkley I truly support You on that statement. ;-)

    If officers were truly concerned about their fellow officers, they could pay for half their insurance and save jobs.

    If 1 furlough day could save 10 jobs, imagine what paying half Your insurance could do. :-D


    • Paul Revere says:

      @ Just Askin

      so you think it’s fair that a BPS officer who gets injured while on the job protecting Joe Public should pay 50% of the bill?
      how many other persons go to work with the real threat of being attacked every day when they suit up?
      these officers risk their lives every day 24/7 doing a job, most of us don’t want to do.

      • Jus' Askin' says:

        I said pay 50% of their insurance, LIKE THE REST OF US ;-)

        • SMH says:

          I know a few officers who have bee seriously injured on the job by criminals. Some of which require regular medical treatments.
          They don’t recieve danger pay. How many of us go to work everyday and have to worry about being seriously injured at work? The police go to work every day facing that reality.
          Lets be realistic. The majority of police officer do not use up a great deal in health insurance. And even if they did contribute 50% of the health insurance it would probably only equate to 2 or three jobs being saved per year.
          From my understanding, the COP met with the BPA sometime late last year and warned them that job cuts would have to be made if they did not find other ways to cut cost. (Something along the lines of 30 to 40 officers would have to be cut to meet the budget) Since that meeting the BPA has remained silent and have kept its officers out of the loop during talks with the COP. And The BPA also knew that the job cuts were coming but did nothing.
          Although I prefer to see no job cuts at all in the police service, 10 is far fewer than the original estimated 30 to 40. So they must have managed to cut a great deal out of other areas.

  26. Lone Wolf says:

    Cutting 10 Officers really isn’t a big deal as long as they cut the right ones. There are at least 25 Officers who don’t do anything more than getting dressed every day anyway.

  27. RUKiddingMe says:

    I would rather the Government/Governor look at other areas to cut and transfer some funds over the BPS. We need the BPS in full force. Vehicle thefts are on the increase as well as other crimes we cannot afford to let crime get out of hand in Bermuda, we are too small.

  28. Impressive says:

    So increase a bonus to those who haven’t made progress that can be measured and decrease employees in a segment of our community that is very much needed..

  29. Legal Eagle says:

    The reduction is because the BPS rejected the furlough day-AND the BPS’s excessive benefits + early retirement package!! Hopefully, to be remedied in their next contract! In the interim,the only option for the COP is to not ‘cut’, but simply “not renew” officers on contract! Bdn officers aren’t on contract! But he+Dunkly saying it will not affect operational effectiveness is so obviously untrue I’m surprised they think we are that stupid!

  30. We have enough officers! says:

    But where are they? A spoiled fraternity capitalizing on the rest of the sacrifices other civil servants are making. Seriously,their visibility is nil, far too much sick leave abuse. Time to bring them up to the 21st century! Pay your copay like the rest of us and the world.