Commissioner Michael DeSilva has announced that due to the Government’s three-year budget reduction targets, he has reluctantly decided to allow the contracts of ten current serving police officers to expire.
In an article in Bernews (CLICK HERE to view) Commissioner DeSilva said, “The BPS has been carefully considering our options to reach the Government’s three-year budget reduction targets. This year, we do not have the benefit of the ‘Furlough Day’ to meet the 5% target and we must also position ourselves for a further 3% reduction in 2016/17. We have been reducing our operational budget each year since 2009.
“Six years on, there is not much left to trim and I now have to consider reducing the cost of our police labour. Currently there is no agreement with the Bermuda Police Association to reduce the cost of salaries and benefits and that leaves me with a final option of reducing the number of officers.
“I have therefore taken the decision to allow 10 police officers’ contracts to expire over the next few months. The contract expirations are spread over time to help reduce operational impact. Reducing the number of police officers has only been considered as a last resort and this has been a very difficult decision for me to take.
“However, more contracts will likely be allowed to expire in 2016 to assist in meeting the budget reduction targets. This will not be good news to anyone but it is clear that it is not possible to keep all of our officers in service.
“Operational effectiveness remains my primary focus and I wish to assure the public that the effects on our core law enforcement duties will be minimal.”
This decision by the Commissioner has also been reported in the Royal Gazette (CLICK HERE to view article published on 17th July), and the Royal Gazette has subsequently published a response from Raoul Ming, Chairman of the Bermuda Police Association on behalf of the BPA regarding this decision which is not supported by the membership. (CLICK HERE for Raoul’s comments published in the Royal Gazette on 18th July).