Police want extra cash to fund more front line officers
Senior police officers are in talks with the Government after a push to get more officers on the beat.
Renee Ming, the national security minister, revealed this week that the Bermuda Police Service had asked for extra cash to fund a recruitment drive.
The move came after an upsurge in gang violence and near-record deaths on the roads so far this year.
Acting Commissioner of Police Darrin Simons said: “The Bermuda Police Service will soon be holding a recruit foundation course with approximately twenty officers. This will bring the service to its full complement of 400 officers.
“In the interim, contingency measures are being implemented to ensure there is no deterioration in our continued professional delivery of service to the community.
“Discussions surrounding funding requirements remain ongoing with the Minister of National Security, Renee Ming, who continues to be highly supportive of our efforts to ensure the Bermuda Police Service is properly equipped to meet its mandate of making Bermuda safer.
“Once finalised, those figures will be presented and debated publicly in the House of Assembly, as part of the Ministry’s approved estimates of revenue and expenditure for the upcoming financial year.”
Cole Simons, the One Bermuda Alliance Opposition leader, demanded more money for law enforcement in response to the gang threat to security on the island in his reply to this month’s Throne Speech.
Mr Simons said the island was becoming “numb” to serious violence.
Ms Ming said earlier: “The Bermuda Police Service generally put forth their budget and I can tell you that they have requested additional officers in the upcoming Budget.”
The police fall under Rena Lalgie, the Governor, but the service is funded by the Government.
The estimated expenditure on policing for 2021-22 was cut by $145,000 to $61.2 million in February’s Budget compared to the previous financial year - but it was $2.9 million down on the $64.2 million allocated in 2019-20.
Mr Simons said in his response to this month’s Throne Speech that the Government had “slashed” police funding.
He added: “This Government has disrespected our uniformed services.”