Daily Archives: September 25, 2012

Deputy Commissioner of Police Bertie Hinds retires. Leaves a legacy of conflict and chaos.

Submitted by Turtle Soup in response to Stephen Alleyne’s Under Scrutiny: Ciao, Bertie!

When his junior, Darwin Dottin, was promoted to Commissioner of Police, Bertie Hinds had to make a decision to do his best to support Dottin’s leadership and direction, or if he could not support the new Commissioner, to do the honourable thing and leave the Royal Barbados Police Force. Hinds had several good offers at the time in both government service and private industry and could have exited the police with best wishes from all in the larger community and a ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ from the vast majority of police personnel. He undoubtedly would have been successful in any new position where he was in ultimate charge because the man has vision and is a capable leader and policing professional.

“Stay and work to support the new police leadership, or leave – those were the two honourable choices. But Hinds chose a third option…”

Instead of going quietly or accepting his lot and doing his utmost to support the new Commissioner and his beloved Royal Barbados Police Force to the best of his ability, Bertie Hinds decided to stay and fight the new Commissioner of Police at every step – which he did most strongly for nine full years. As the clashes with Dottin became more serious, more frequent and increasingly public, the senior management of the RBPF became ineffective and split with various senior officers choosing sides. There were battles in court, and dirty tricks by Dottin and Hinds supporters. The focus of senior management (and increasingly by junior personnel also) shifted from serving the community to internal politics and conflict.

All of this was because Mr. Hinds could not discipline himself to say “Yes, Sir.” to the man whom Barbados chose over him to be the leader of the Royal Barbados Police Force. Some observers believe that Hinds thought he could someday be Commissioner of Police if he undermined Dottin sufficiently, and indeed during the battles there were calls from Hinds supporters to fire Dottin and promote Hinds.

Could Hinds have made a better Commissioner of Police than Dottin?

Possibly, even probably – but so what?

Dottin’s promotion and appointment was legal and it was the decision of those who were lawfully charged with making that decision. For whatever reason Hinds was not chosen and Dottin was.

Whatever Darwin Dottin’s professional and personal failings, he deserved better from Bertie Hinds than he got right from the start. As Commissioner of Police, Darwin Dottin deserved respect, support and most of all loyalty from his senior officers because anything else in a military organisation is destructive and undermines the public confidence in the institution.

Bertie Hinds has left the Royal Barbados Police Force, but the organisation and the community at large will be many years recovering from the decade of conflict and chaos in the senior leadership that Hinds could have stopped at any time by submitting his resignation or saying “Yes, Sir.”

Further Reading

Readers are encouraged to visit the Barbados Advocate to read Stephen Alleyne’s Ciao, Bertie! but unfortunately BFP must reprint the entire piece here because the Barbados Advocate has in the past deleted news stories to suit political agendas. As our post is based upon Alleyne’s article, we must preserve a copy… Continue reading

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