April 4, 1997
Search continues for new
By Don Burgess
THREE senior police officers have been identified as potential candidates to
replace Colin Coxall as police commissioner when his contract expires next
Superintendent Vic Richmond, 51, and Chief
Inspectors George Jackson, 44, and Jonathan Smith, 37, were quietly appointed to
the Executive Development Group last November.
Other candidates could be announced later and
would come from the pool of officers who hold the rank of chief inspector,
superintendent or assistant commissioner.
Of the top tier of officers serving under
Commissioner Coxall and Deputy Commissioner Jean Jacques Lemay, only
Superintendent Richmond is part of the group; Superintendent Campbell Simons,
53, Superintendent Alan Bissell, 53, and Assistant Commissioner Harold Moniz,
57, are not.
The EDG idea was announced last August by
Governor Lord Waddington and Labour and Home Affairs Minister Quinton Edness as
"a programme aimed at developing senior police officers to fill the ranks of
superintendent, assistant commissioner, deputy commissioner and commissioner of
police within the Bermuda Police Service.
"The commissioner, with the chairman of the
Public service Commission, will evaluate and select a small number of police
officers for intensive training and development in Bermuda and abroad, with a
view to their eventual appointment to the most senior positions within the
According to police spokeswoman Evelyn James
Barnett, Superintendent Richmond, and Chief Inspectors Jackson and Smith were
appointed to this group last November.
No formal announcement was made at that time
that these officers were made a part of the EDG group. However, in a speech
hosted by the Respect for Law Alliance at the Elbow Beach Hotel on November 9,
Commissioner Coxall said that Chief Inspectors Jackson and Smith would be part
of a six month exchange programme with Scotland Yard. However, he did not
mention that they were part of the EDG programme.
And in an interview with the Bermuda Sun in
December, Mr. Edness gave no indication that anyone had been appointed to the
EDG: "I would expect that we're going to be announcing in the not too distant
future the candidates that have been selected by the process," he said.
He added: "I know they are in the process of
making that selection and we ought to be able to announce them ... before the
holiday or immediately after the holiday who the candidates are going to be."
Mr. Edness said there will probably be a
minimum of six candidates selected.
Police Commissioner Coxall stressed other
officers could be added to the Executive Development Group, and the three
candidates selected so far would not necessarily become the next commissioner of
He said: "I sat down with the chairman of the
public services commission and we interviewed nearly all the senior officers of
the service of chief inspector and superintendent rank who indicated they would
be interested ... in some executive development. We selected three officers at
this stage and with the strong possibility of selecting further senior officers
Commissioner Coxall added: "It is a leap of
imagination ... to presume that these people as holding more senior rank in the
future. That is the matter for the Governor ... and in conjunction with the
public service commission and the minister."
He said the three officers would be getting
extra offshore training. and that the service is "spending an enormous amount of
time on training on all of our senior officers which had been neglected in the
Shadow Minister for Public Safety Alex Scott
was not amused by the retro-announcement.
"It certainly didn't came across to the whole
community that ... they were the candidates," he said. "I think we are now
beginning to reconstruct it as being an announcement."
He added: "It was not characterized as such.
It was announced they are going abroad for additionally training. The
announcement seemed to overtake us in our sleep because nobody seems to realize
what that actually was last November. Unfortunately it is this sleight of hand
that raises serious credibility over the statistics and all the pronouncements
at the police service."
Mr. Scott said that Chief Inspectors Jackson
and Smith were "exemplary officers" but "we just lament that many other senior
officers, superior to these officers that we are now discussing have been
He called it "a miscarriage of justice" that
Wayne Perinchief and Harold Moniz had been overlooked. "This is not a complaint
against these younger officers outside the fact that they lack the seniority of
those we have mentioned and others."