Dunkley On New Commissioner & Police Budget

June 4, 2018

“It is our hope that the new Commissioner of Police [COP] will have it as a top priority to ensure that officers at every rank and level receive the requisite training and experience to enable them early consideration as future candidates to fill the senior roles,” Shadow Minister of National Security Michael Dunkley said.

Speaking in the House on Friday, Mr. Dunkley said, “During the Minister’s Statement period earlier today the Minister of National Security provided the Government’s view on the appointment of the next Commissioner of Police [COP] to replace the soon to retire current COP Michael DeSilva and during that statement the Hon. Minister made some comments that I wish to address.

“First, on page 2 of the statement the Minister focused on the record of the OBA in Government and mentioned and I quote ‘from 2012 until 2017, the Bermuda Police Service, like other government departments, endured a season of significantly reduced resources and budget cuts.

“As with most Government departments the first budget line that was sliced was training. Because of the decrease in the budget staffing levels were also reduced.’

“Well Mr Speaker let’s look at the training budget which is line item #17190. Here are the allocated budget numbers from 2008/9

  • 08/09 4.008m
  • 09/10 3.167m
  • 10/11 3.734m
  • 11/12. 1.685m
  • 12/13. .676m

“These Mr. Speaker were all PLP allocations and it is clear to see the budget cuts came under the PLP and not the OBA as the Minister tried to assert from his preachers pulpit.

“I will continue on with 13/14 under the OBA the budget was increased…

  • 13/14 1.002M
  • 14/15. .966M
  • 15/16. .806M
  • 16/17. .865M
  • 17/18. .948M

“So Mr Speaker the record clearly shows the drastic cuts to training came under the PLP and no colorful language, finger pointing or emotive speaking can change that fact.

“Secondly, since the Minister of National Security mentioned budget cuts let’s look at the record of the former PLP Government and the OBA in regards to the BPS. The record clearly illustrates that for the last five years of the PLP prior to the 2012 election the PLP got it wrong every year.

“Mr. Speaker I will illustrate.

  • In 07/08 the BPS budget was estimated at 57.1 m
  • It ended at 69.5 m, an increase of over 12m.
  • In 08/09 the BPS budget was estimated at 62.8m
  • It ended at 71.6m, an increase of almost 9m.
  • In 09/10 the BPS budget was estimated at 60.5 m
  • It ended at 70.6 m, an increase of over 10m.
  • In 10/11 the BPS budget was estimated at 64.3m
  • It ended at 71.7m, an increase of over 7m.
  • In 11/12 the BPS was estimated at 58.2 m
  • It ended at 69m, an increase of over 10m.

“Mr Speaker the trend is clear in that for five consecutive years the PLP Government underfunded the BPS and had to come up with supplemental funding.

“So Mr Speaker the first point I made shows that the PLP cut training and my second point shows the PLP during their last tenure never funded the BPS properly.

“Thirdly Mr Speaker let me focus on the budget process.

“During my tenure as the Minister of National Security, along with the permanent secretary, I sat with the COP every year to listen to and discuss the budget request by the BPS.

“We always had a full, frank and broad discussion, including a discussion of manpower levels.

“The Government was always clear on what challenges we had and the COP would have a couple of options regarding the total budget and each one of these was predicated on a different manpower level which the COP believed could deliver the mandate required for a safe and secure community.

“During our discussions it was always important to make sure we planned recruit classes, supported the cadet programs and the Bermuda Reserve Police.

“And this brings me to my fourth point Mr Speaker in that the current Minister of National Security alleges a distinction between the PLP Government and the One Bermuda Alliance in that the PLP is determined to build capacity among our people.

“What a load of nonsense and political spin.

“Everyone in this Hon House wants to enable opportunity and hope for Bermudians. However at times there are challenges along the way, such as experienced by the PLP with the dismissal of the Bermudian Commissioner of Education under their watch.

“In my humble view Mr Speaker the challenge faced today with the appointment of a Bermudian COP is not only due to the young retirement [age] of current COP DeSilva but also to the fact that the Deputy Commissioner did not apply for the job.

“So like the PLP we support a Bermudian COP and as we said in the statement two days ago, it is our hope that the new COP will have it as a top priority to ensure that officers at every rank and level receive the requisite training and experience to enable them early consideration as future candidates to fill the senior roles.

“Finally Mr Speaker, changing the subject slightly, in March of this year the Minister of National Security, during a statement regarding the Bermuda Regiment, mentioned funding would be found in the Royal Bermuda Regiment budget for this year to make progress on the maritime responsibility of the RBR. Can the Minister provide an update on the progress of this important matter.

“Mr. Speaker thank you for the opportunity to clear the air tonight and opportunity to speak on the Motion to Adjourn.”

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Comments (18)

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  1. watching says:

    “It is our hope that the new Commissioner of Police [COP] will have it as a top priority to ensure that officers at every rank and level receive the requisite training and experience to enable them early consideration as future candidates to fill the senior roles.” Michael Dunkley.

    So doesn’t this mean that the retiring COP should have had this same training and preparation as a priority for the senior members of the Police team?

    • enough says:

      The one person who could have taken the position didn’t even apply, namely the deputy COP, why is that, what was the point of him being in that position if he didn’t want to progress to the next level. everyone wants Bermudians to excel succeed but in saying hat we have to want to make the effort and work hard to get there. Hopefully the new COP will bring some new ideas to the table, because we really need them, and have the right person trained and ready to take over in five years. To many unsolved murders that need to get sorted.

  2. NO MORE WAR says:

    The current commissioner didn’t even have the required training to even be the Commissioner fin the first place. One has to wonder why he remained in that role for almost a decade. I hope that the new commissioner is held accountable and not left to his own devices like the current one.

    • Hair says:

      Excuse me ” NO MORE WAR”, if you had done your homework, the current Commissioner has had more training that you will ever have in your life time, so please get your facts in order..

  3. nerema says:

    So the PLP DECREASED the Police training budget by 83%,
    and the OBA INCREASED the Police training budget by 40%.

    It’s funny what you can learn when you’re not being misled by the Minister of National Security isn’t it.

    • wahoo says:

      Yes just what I was thinking. The only explanation that I can think of is that the minister was deliberately misleading the House and the people of Bermuda or he does not know what he is talking about? Either way it is a little scary right? Did we have to mislead you or did we mislead you because we can? This from a guy who I had some respect for.

  4. Triangle Drifter says:

    Bermuda has not had a decent COP for decades. The last good one was hustled out of here, even offered a ride to the airport by one who later became a PLP Premier.

    Having a Bermudian COP is a nice thought but not really doable in such a small community. Any potential foreign COP needs to do due diligence on Bermuda & ask himself if he really wants to take on a job that has is embroiled in the quagmire that is Bermuda politics.

  5. Wake up says:

    More Dunkley spin factory crap! We need a strong commissioner to turn this island around. Break the law and go to jail!

    • Onion Juice says:

      All depends who breaks de law.

    • Bullseye says:

      Ahhh you think actual published numbers are spin… you need to look in the mirror and contemplate boss. #purebias #ignoresfacts #everythingdunkleysaysisalie

  6. rodeny smith says:

    Bermuda is amongst the most policed nations in the world . Why is that ? 483 officers are what we say is required . Much too many for a population of 62,000 . So why all the extra police ? If I told you the true reason , you would not like it , but it is staring us right in our face . So how do we get more Bermudians in leadership roles ? We must be intentional about this . The governor is doing what he feels is in the best interest of England . But what about Bermuda First ? As an old British saying goes, ” If you can’t use your hands , you can always use your head . But if you can’t use your head, You can always become a policeman . “

  7. Dunkley and his political rhetoric. Where was this “man” the day of the pepper spray???
    The Commissioner, Baron and you know who, KNEW who summoned the police to Parliament Hill.
    Bermudians , NEVER be fooled by the wolves in sheep’s clothing!!

  8. Stevie says:

    Sorry but Caines has got to go. No idea what he is doing. Further more just saw on news Burch showing the rascist plp card again over Narinda Hargun’s appointment. Shame on you plp yet again.

  9. PANGAEA says:

    The days of “Cops and Robbers”are over ,with the advent of the internet, we are entering into a new era where every thing green seems to disapears as fast as lightning into thin air.

    We now need a ” cyber cop ” with a crystal ball, as mega computers now rule the world . The judge and jury now needs to be just as compentant.

    I almost forgot the” all seeing eye “, the almighty camera which knows which one of you likes sugar.

  10. Thor says:

    This vote loser needs to stick to his promise to go away. Sir John Swan always (correctly imho) considered him a liability. The good Sir John had no idea how much of one!

    • Wahoo says:

      Can you quote Sir John or are you putting words in his mouth? Dunkley is giving us numbers to back up his claims and you are talking about something that you have no proof of.

  11. Bullwinkle T. M says:

    Less chance of neputism.

  12. Tide watcher says: