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NEWS > 12 June 2008

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AntiguaSun - St' John's,Antigu
12 June 2008
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Police to enforce disciplinary

The Police Commissioner Gary Nelson is taking firm steps to enhance the disciplinary unit within the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda in an effort to instil order among members of the force.

“I truly want the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda to move forward and from what I can see, the officers that I am meeting with from day to day want the same thing,” Nelson said during a press conference yesterday.

The disciplinary unit will be called the Professional Standards Unit and is headed by Assistant Commissioner Davidson Whyte. It will deal with matters including complaints against police officers, internal discipline matters and other acts of wrongdoing by officers.

Whyte is responsible for investigating these matters and providing a course of action to the commissioner whether it is an internal or criminal charge.

A number of cases involving officers within the force are currently under investigation by the unit. The commissioner sees the outcome of these investigations as key to building the public’s confidence in the force.

“We can’t allow the public actions of a few to stop us from moving forward and helping the community and becoming the police force that we promise we will become,” Nelson firmly stated.

“This unit became known as our ethics office or as our professional standards unit, as most police forces have. That unit has investigators assigned to it at a needed basis,” Nelson explained.

Nelson said in the future, a dedicated team of officers will be working with Whyte on a full time basis so they will be trained in how to do internal investigations.

He later disclosed a few cases involving police officers were sent to the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) Office for a determination as to whether they should bring criminal charges.

One of the cases reportedly involves a fatal shooting incident.

Nelson promised to track all the complaints and make public the information, except the names of the officers implicated.

Meanwhile, Rohan Telemaque, the firefighter who was recently granted $20,000 bail with one surety and a cash deposit of $2,000 for an alleged hit and run incident was suspended yesterday by the police commissioner after a recommendation from ACP Whyte.

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