Police officers will be ‘seconded’ too

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The Lower House of Parliament has passed an amendment to the Police Act CAP 330, which would allow the Minister of Public Safety to transfer “gazetted officers” of the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda (RPFAB) to other departments within his portfolio.
The Bill, which must now get the assent of the Senate, also removes every instance of the word “Governor General” in the principal Act and replaces it with the word “Minister”.
The power to transfer officers is laid out in Section 7 of the Police Amendment Bill 2017 which states: “The principal Act is amended by inserting after section 23 the following new section — 23A. Power to transfer Gazetted Officers:
“The Minister may, after consultation with the Commission, direct the Commissioner to transfer any Gazetted Officer to any department of Government for which the Minister is responsible for the purpose of advising the Minister on security, policing policies, guidelines, research, planning and other security related matter or for any matter for the advancement of the duties and responsibilities of the Force.”
According to the Minister of Public Safety and Attorney General, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, the contentious legislation is “merely giving effect to what already happens”.
“Let me give an example. [The Superintendent of Her Majesty’s Prison Albert Wade] was an [Assistant Superintendent of Police] in the police force and we had a vacant position at the prison. We recognised that Mr Wade has special skills and he was the perfect person to go to the prison to bring the prison around,” Benjamin said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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