The following statement was released on Friday (Dec 9) by the Bermuda Police Service (BPS)….

The BPS is grateful to the Bermuda Government for providing additional funding for these officers as well as new vehicles. The BPS currently has a strength of 375 officers.

This figure includes the 21 officers who passed out of Training School in June this year. We are 45 officers below the new establishment level of 420. We are at this number because of natural attrition, and the inability to recruit new officers during the two years of COVID-19.

Police Commissioner, Darrin Simons stated: “We are actively recruiting to fill thirty-four posts locally. You will be pleased to know that five of these new posts will be added to our community policing team. To that end, there is currently a local recruiting process underway, to attract new members to the Bermuda Police Service. We anticipate a Recruit Foundation Course starting within the next four months. Training of local officers at all ranks remains ongoing. In addition to the several training initiatives put on so far this year, on Monday, November 14th 2022, the BPS commenced a basic investigators training course at Police Headquarters in Prospect, Devonshire. The two-week course, being conducted by BPS Inspector Derrick Golding and BPS Constable Ronald Taylor, comprises 14 BPS officers as well as two HM customs officers.

“Continuous training, including working with associated law enforcement partners, is important and provides tangible benefits, as evidenced by the recent multi-million-dollar drug seizure involving our two agencies.”

Commissioner Simons added: “Since 2008, 31 unsolved murders and 127 unsolved attempted murders remain open and under investigation. Our specialist investigators are overwhelmed, dealing with not only these matters, but also other cases involving drugs, fraud, child sexual abuse, as well as other significant acts of criminality. While we have a robust program to develop local investigators, on average, it takes more than seven years before an officer becomes occupationally and operationally competent to be tasked with complex specialist investigations. Demand has simply outstripped the capacity to develop local talent quickly enough.

“In that regard the BPS will be recruiting eight experienced detectives from the Caribbean and the United Kingdom, along with seven experienced accredited Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs).

“An injection of experienced detectives is required to successfully investigate the number of outstanding serious cases as well as provide a better environment to grow our local talent. Further, the aim is to reduce significant crime by arresting and convicting those responsible for these offences and most importantly, provide the much needed closure to our families whose loved ones have fallen victim to these crimes.”

The Commissioner points out: “Currently there is an insufficient number of accredited Authorised Firearms Officers [AFOs]. At the current staffing, there are notable operational and logistical challenges that daily need to be overcome to ensure the continuity of service. Sixty AFOs are required to effectively conduct operations and manage the rigorous training required to effectively deliver on one of the most dangerous areas of our service. While we continue to attract and train firearms officers locally, the reality is that there are not enough local officers applying and passing the course to meet our needs. An increase of seven trained firearms officers will alleviate the most critical shortages while we progress local enrolment.

“Advertisements for the eight experienced Investigators will be placed in both the UK and Caribbean countries. In contrast, advertisements for AFOs will only appear in the UK, as Bermuda’s firearms training and accreditation mirror the UK’s Authorised Professional Practice.”

Mr. Simons ended: “The 15 overseas officers, will help the BPS address shortages while we focus on enrolling local recruits. I recognise there may be many different perspectives on this news and I hope the information shared provides context for the decision to hire overseas officers.”