Walter Roban On Budget For Police Officers

March 23, 2017

[Updated with video] “Do not be fooled by announcements” that the “budget has been increased to allow for the hiring of new police officers,” as the officers due to be hired are filling vacancies “left unfilled for years because of OBA budget cuts,” Shadow Minister of National Security Walter Roban said, adding that the “OBA Government has reduced the size of the Bermuda Police Service from 560 in 2013 to 518 next week.”

Baron: Govt Increased Budget, Enable Police To Hire 30 More Officers

In discussing the budget for the Bermuda Police Service [PDF], National Security Minister Jeff Baron said, “The staffing level in the BPS has dipped below 400 officers for the first time in many years through a combination of austerity measures and natural attrition.

“In order to prevent the operational strength of the police from falling any further, the Government has increased the budget allocation for police salaries from $38.3M to $39.9M.

“The 2017/18 budget will support 425 officers and 12 cadets. This will enable the police to hire approximately 30 new police officers, half of whom will be locally recruited and half will be recruited from overseas as trained firearms officers to help support the vital armed response role that the police must provide. All of the police cadets will be hired locally.”

Roban: OBA Govt Reduced Size Of BPS From 560 In 2013 To 518 Next Week

Mr Roban said, “Do not be fooled by announcements by Premier Dunkley and his Minister of National Security, Jeff Baron, that the OBA budget has been increased to allow for the hiring of additional, new officers.

“The officers due to be hired are merely filling existing vacancies left unfilled for years because of OBA budget cuts. These vacancies are known as established positions and they were approved by the Legislature many years ago.

“The real facts are that the OBA Government has reduced the size of the Bermuda Police Service from 560 in 2013 to 518 next week. The bottom line is that the Commissioner of Police has struggled to fill Police positions because the OBA has consistently reduced his budget.

“This year’s OBA budget allocates $1.4 million less to the BPS than when first elected on a platform promise of fully funding and implementing crime reduction strategies.

“Today, a key strategy has failed to be implemented. Premier Dunkley has known about Operation Ceasefire for seven years.

“On the eve of the 2012 election then-candidate Minister Baron called the gang situation a ‘national emergency’ and promised that the OBA would urgently introduce Operation Ceasefire. Here we are five years later, more than a dozen murders later, and the Premier and Minister have not fulfilled their election pledge.

“Enough excuses. In other jurisdictions, Operation Ceasefire was introduced in one year and showed results in the next. We call upon the Government to immediately fully implement Operation Ceasefire.

“A PLP Government would not just fully support the implementation of Operation Ceasefire, but ensure key indicators are established to measure its success and allow tailoring for our unique circumstances.

“We are committed to going further by implementing a National Crime Reduction Plan. Among other initiatives, this plan identifies and supports the most at-risk families to make determined efforts to stop, and reverse, the slide of vulnerable young people into a desperate life of gangs, drugs and crime.

“Further, we urge the Government to release the 2016 Annual Crime Statistics, which are normally released within the first six weeks of the year. We are now on the cusp of April and the delay raises questions. The Minister has delegated responsibility in this area and he owes the country an explanation – and the figures, without delay.

“We must ensure that policy makers, the helping agencies and the police themselves are operating with the most current available statistics. Without information, we are all less effective,” concluded  Mr Roban.

Update: Minister Baron responds to Mr Roban’s comments:

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Comments (30)

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  1. NO MORE WAR says:

    I am at a lost. The Minsiter is saying that the force is just under 400 and the Shadow Minister is saying the force is just over 500. Which is correct? I am at a lost as to why more firearms officers are needed in a force that’s mostly unarmed. I do not see the need to hire more armed officers. The ones they have now aren’t stopping the shootings what makes you think 15 more will.

    • john says:

      if the majority of officers are not fire armed trained officers how you expect them to keep pace with the number of shootings. You cant expect the small number of fire armed officers to work 24/7 do you.

  2. Longtail says:

    What utter nonsense…… the Minister has clearly stated that the number of officers has dropped “through a combination of austerity measures and natural attrition” and that “In order to prevent the operational strength of the police from falling any further” the salary allocation has been increased, and yet Roban has the presence of mind to warn us not to be fooled that the numbers have dropped and that “The officers due to be hired are merely filling existing vacancies”?

    • Who Done it says:

      Kind of like the real unemployment numbers skewed by hiring into the civil service…

    • john says:

      because he is right, vacancies are being filled, these arent additional posts being created.

  3. Zevon says:

    Why doesn’t he mention the PLP Police $8m budget cuts?
    Because that would be honest, and that’s not how he rolls.

    • john says:

      thats not how any government rolls

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      Hey Zevon the Zealot! That’s spilt milk. What’s being mentioned is current. OBA promised a change didn’t they? It’s still same ish different day and you want to cry over the past. OBA is not mentioning all the dumb crap they’re doing so why would PLP mention theirs. This is why in a democracy there’s an opposition. It’s up to the people that the government is supposed to serve to sift through the BS and find the truth not to throw is back and forth like mindless cronies of either party.

      • Zevon says:

        So we can’t mention anything the PLP did. Of course. How would you lie to people if your OWN ACTIONS were scrutinized.

  4. brain fart says:

    Just think if we had the money in the bank the plp had when they took over. Coulda had a lot of things..

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      So the PLP spills the milk and you’re crying over it while the OBA takes the replenished milk and gives it to a rich man’s sailboat race when it could be used in a better way. You really are a brain fart.

      • Zevon says:

        Another PLP lie about “giving money to rich men”.
        What a bunch of liars.

      • Andrew dice clay says:

        So I know it is pretty simple economics but when you invest in something and you get money back, more than you invested, them that is good. Granted the sport is a rich mans sport but economically speaking it shouldn’t matter.

        Bunch of idiots just repeat whatever there plp jealous leaders say. You are a bunch of drones

        Grow up and realize the colour of the skin doesn’t matter but I guess it makes a good crutch for people who are too lazy to get off their backsides and make something out of themselves

        we are not in the 60s 70s or 80s any more. Throw your crutches away

      • Brain fart says:

        You should feel better that’s your first step to recovery!admitting they messed up.. no move on..

  5. Andrew dice clay says:

    You have to be joking. Can this guy really believe anything that he himself says at all.

  6. Brainiac says:

    Hey Walter. Why were the OBA budget cuts necessary in the first place or do you have a short memory of your parties reign of spend spend till there is nothing left

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      Ahhh yes! The budget cuts were so desperately needed that over 70mil is being spent on a rich man’s boat race that will be over in a matter of months. How much do you want to bet we will never break even on the 70mil plus spent once the race is gone? Keep crying over spilt milk. It’s a great distraction away from the current dilemmas.

      • Mike Hind says:

        I’ll take that bet!
        Just curious… would you rather we tried attracting people that don’t have money to spend? Why so down on rich people coming to Bermuda, even if it IS only for a few months?

        And you know the $70mil is what’s budgeted, not what’s spent, right?

      • Andrew dice clay says:

        The original truth or the original idiot

      • Humphrey says:

        Look around Bermuda n see what the rich mans boat is doing for Bda you see lots if work going on people starting new business young people working for the AC. The same.people you n the rest of the plp think you don’t need.well if trump gets his way n the plp gets there way you will c what its like to have no money in this deserted island.

  7. Joe Bloggs says:

    “We are committed to going further by implementing a National Crime Reduction Plan. Among other initiatives, this plan identifies and supports the most at-risk families to make determined efforts to stop, and reverse, the slide of vulnerable young people into a desperate life of gangs, drugs and crime.”

    Thank you Mr. Roban. It is a shame that such a programme was not initiated at any time between 1998 and 2012.

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      Another spilt milk whiner. It’s 2017 not 1998-2012 and still the same ish different day.

  8. Yep says:

    I’m am impressed with Roban’s stamina to keep finding things to complain about. PLP spent money as fast as they could while neglegting infastructure outside of build new at rediculous overuns. OBA had to stop this before we went Bankrupt. That did mean hiring freezes, they didn’t lay anyone off. Now people are being added and its a problem. So now PLP get to complain everytime OBA do anything. What OBA need to do, but won’t, is heavily reduce the size of the bloated civil service. No dennying some work hard but those are a rarety. Just look as you drive around the island past W&E projects to see how many are working and then when you drive back home how much or lack there of progress has been made during the day. I would be embarrased to have that work ethic. They have the backing of the Union so no need to work hard. Look at the busses, drivers won’t allow the schedule to be changed?? How on earth does that make logical sense. This is why taxes have to go up, the largest employer on the island has to be supported by the rest. Don’t blame the govt for it. Yes they aren’t perfect but they were left with a crumbling trash pile. Yes this is a rant and a little off topic so you can fault what you like, but don’t lie to yourself if you prefer one party over the other, its simple economics and common sense.

  9. Hope says:

    So the OBA announce that they are increasing the budget because in previous years they had to reduce it due to austerity measures. The PLP then confirm exactly the same statement. So what exactly was wrong with the OBAs original one? They fully admit that the budget was lower in the past due to cut backs.

    Oh and remind me again why were austerity measures in place? Oh yes…

    This is a completely meaningless statement by Roban. There’s nothing in it that the OBA hadn’t already said.

  10. jt says:

    Deficit reduction. Debt reduction even. Look it up Walter.

  11. brain fart says:

    Its amazing all these bloggers and dislikers!
    I’m sure they know by now the first step to recovery is admitting it, I guess they are still in denial! Not realizing that De nile is a river in Egypt.

  12. sandgrownan says:

    Another PLP windbag mouthing off on something he is ill equipped to comprehend.

    • john says:

      but we civilians always have all the answers dont we..

  13. Y-Gurl says:

    As usual, smoke and mirrors

    • Humphrey says:

      Yes the plps game talk they won’t ever get my vote again