Friday 20 July, 2018

Griffith appointed Police Commissioner

Newly appointed Commissioner of Police, Tyrone Griffith.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Police, Tyrone Griffith.

After acting in the post for four years, Tyrone Griffith has been appointed as Commissioner of Police, effective Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Griffith joined the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) in 1975 and was promoted to act in the role in June 2013, after then Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin was relieved of his duties.

In January 2017, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite was quoted in a media interview as saying the vacancy for Commissioner of Police only became available with former Commissioner Darwin Dottin’s retirement in 2016.

Dottin was sent on “administrative leave” in June 2013 by the Governor General after the Police Service Commission had recommended his retirement “in the public interest”.

Dottin took the matter to court, seeking an injunction to prevent him being forced to retire and the appointment of a new permanent Commissioner, as well as an order that the status quo be maintained so he could return to work as Commissioner of Police.

As part of her ruling in September 2013, High Court Judge, Madame Justice Reifer refused to order Dottin’s return to work. His challenge to her ruling was eventually dismissed by the Court of Appeal in March 2017.

By that time, reinstatement was not possible as Dottin had retired, having gone on pre-retirement leave in November 2016.

In July 2017, the CCJ dismissed an application from Dottin to appeal for relief. According to the CCJ, Dottin’s claimed relief was to enable him to continue in office and since he had retired before his appeal to the CCJ, his appeal was “without practical merit”.

His substantive case concerning his dismissal remains to be heard by the Barbados High Court.


Pause on promotions

The issue of appointments and promotions has plagued the wider police force for years after court action taken by 14 police officers challenging their non-promotion led to an injunction preventing the RBPF from making any permanent promotions until their matter was settled.

The police officers had been recommended for promotion in 2012 by then Commissioner of Police Dottin, but their names were replaced with others by the Police Service Commission.

The case was eventually dismissed on December 24, 2016, but now continues before the Court of Appeal which heard opening submissions in March 2017.

Meanwhile, on January 11, 2017, the RBPF announced the promotion of 56 officers across the ranks of sergeant, station sergeant, inspector, assistant superintendent, superintendent, senior superintendent and assistant commissioner of police.