By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – On September 17, Caribbean News Global (CNG) reported that the Royal St Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) and the public service are in disarray. On the latter, indicated that “the retirement on September 8, of acting commissioner Milton Desir, has received much advertisement in keeping with the validity of his service and relationship with the United Workers Party (UWP) administration. There are assumptions of a contractual opportunity/advisor on a national level, preferably, to a more regularized option of a security chief, etc., in the private sector.”
On September 21, Desir, resumed active duty as deputy commissioner of police (DCP) reportedly, “following a request by the ministry of home affairs.”
According to Desir, “I was informed to resume work today off vacation because my retirement really takes effect in December, but I was on pre-retirement leave so I was called back,” Desir told Loop News. “It is my pleasure to serve persons, especially as a police officer, that is why I chose to be a police officer and I am happy to going back to doing what I like doing … serving my country,” he declared.
Desir will be 55 years in December, the legal retirement age for public officers. There are very competent officers waiting – and deserving of the opportunity. Therefore, there are many inferences to be drawn from this development that surrounds the question: What special skillset does former acting commissioner of police Desir has that is not available in the RSLPF?
Remarkable the pre-retirement/retirement and subsequent return (less than two weeks) as deputy commissioner of police (DCP) – a first for the RSLPF, questions the basis and provisions of competency, and succession planning.
Further, a quick review implies that this is a direct slap in the face of the commissioner of police (COP) Severin Moncherry to comment publicly that, “The national security minister, Senator Hermangild Francis and I have a very good working relationship and I intend to keep it that way.” Nevertheless, intelligence proves otherwise.
According to an acting Sergeant: “What is the justification to bring Desir back? How right can that be when so many police officers are awaiting promotion. Not only that, how in heavens name does the national security minister expect Desir and Moncherry to work together?
“This is so sad, meantime the RSLPF is crumbling by the second. We just want the government to call the general elections because we are sick and tired of this UWP administration.”
Besides, it is an affront to the rank and file of the police force, the acting commissioners of police and deputies. This reinforces that the executive branch and the cabal Cabinet has no confidence and do not trust the executive of the RSLPF.
Yet again, the question resonates: What special skillset does former acting commissioner of police Desir has that is not available in the RSLPF?
- Is Desir, far more competent than current ACP’s and previous DCP’s to validate special consideration and endorsement by the cabal Cabinet?
- Can this be viewed in the context that Saint Lucia police are still subject to US sanctions; and that the status of IMPACS investigation is also relevant to Saint Lucia and the Global Magnitsky Act?
Commentor, Concerned Citizen, wrote on social media: “I know, he is so brilliant.”
Commentor, Poule Foo, said: “He is eloquent and brilliant. His crime-fighting strategy nearly placed him in law enforcement Hall of fame. In actuality, he almost got recruited by Scotland Yard except for a minor vision problem. He was able to suppress local crime to almost zero percent. We must do anything and everything within our powers to keep him on the force. Saint Lucia will not be the same without him. What a smashing success story. Oops. I was just wandering off into sleep wonderland.”
Commentor, Truth, said: “The police will teach these bastards a lesson at the coming election. This guy has done nothing that Saint Lucia cannot do without. What I can remember is a senior official who butchered the English language. From my police sources, not one policy in the RSLPF can be attributed to him. What a shame. But yet he’s not so smart minister feels that this man has done such a wonderful job. No wonder the police force is in such a state! The force should not be used as a medium to repay debt. The minister should use other means to reward the ACP and his wife for housing him. Shameful.”
A request for comment from a Cabinet minister supposedly points to “a rubber stamp with the political directorate, seemingly reward for doing their bidding, and feasibly, re-positioning next of kin for the position of police commissioner, should fate arise.”
The rationale for Desir’s return is also of concern against the government pretext that “the country is broke”. Consequently, why was Desir summoned “to resume work” wittingly or unwittingly and conceivable: What is Desir’s terms of engagement on a seemingly 2-3 year contractual obligation at taxpayers expense?
Ostensibly, a hefty compensation of a combine regular salary (pre-retirement) contractual remuneration and perks, at the expense of taxpayers, requires public accountability, perchance, in the Saint Lucia government Gazette.
Commentor, Peter, wrote on social media: “This is really disgusting. Campaign money means everything. Nothing else matters. Anyway, it serves the officers of the police force right, for making those idiots my government.”
The Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) and the Police Welfare Association may have an interesting say on political machinations that continues to divide and conquer.
Commentor, Charlemagne, asserted: “As a police officer, I am very pleased with the leadership of Desir. Both he and COP Moncherry have their strengths. Desir motivates persons to work very well and educates the team. At the Marine Unit, he did an excellent job there which helped most officers there to develop and do their work better. We are very happy he is back. He may not speak much but he acts effectively. And he is fair and honest. The only thing is that when he asserts himself the soldier comes out.”