From the Courts
May 21, 2004

Top CID officers retire from force

Scores of police officers and civilians gathered at the main office of the Criminal Investigations Department last Friday night to pay tribute to two experienced investigators.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Vincent Walker and Corporal Walter Ballantyne retired from the Force after serving for 32 years and 21 years, respectively. At the time of their retirement, they were stationed at the CID where Walker was the second in command.{{more}}
Head of the Human Resource Department of the Force, Superintendent Ronald Christopher, in paying tribute to the retired officers, described Walker as a very humble man. He said it was important that preparation be made for retirement because it made no sense working after retirement. He said if he knew Walker well, he will not be working again. He added that he would not want to see him working the way he worked for the past 32 years.
Christopher said Walker achieved everything he owned while in the Force and that the Force was not such a bad organization as some people like to believe. He expressed appreciation for Walker’s wife who gave him support throughout his career.
“This job is a very ungrateful one and if you don’t have the kind of support you need to keep you going you might run off,” Christopher stated.
The Human Resource head said he knew Ballantyne well and he recognised that he had tremendous potential. He urged him to use the experience he gained to make life better as he goes on to another form of employment.
Head of the Immigration Department, Superintendent Glenroy Brewster in his tribute said Walker guided and nurtured him and instilled certain principles which inspired him to be an investigator. He said what Walker had taught many officers at CID would remain with them for a long time and that he was a person whom other officers should emulate.
Inspector James Peters said the turnout at the farewell ceremony was testimony of the kind of person Walker is. He said he knew Walker for about 50 years and they learned tailoring together before joining the Force.
“We travelled together and we must leave together”, said Peters who is also due to retire this month.
Peters also told the ceremony that he knew Corporal Ballantyne for over 20 years and from what he had seen of his work, he had served CID well.
Detective Sergeant Bailey said he recognised Walker not as a “boss but as a leader”. He added that the Department would be “weaker, not necessarily in terms of numbers but in terms of experience”.
Retired school principal, Stanley Stephens in his tribute described Walker and Ballantyne as “very kind and gentle”. He said Walker was an “exemplary officer” who always had “a smile”.
Stephens said when he met Walker in Bequia over 25 years ago, Walker expressed the view that “police and civilians must work together”. He said because of such a view, their friendship developed through the years.
Among those who also paid tribute to ASP Walker and Cpl. Ballantyne were retired Deputy Commissioner, David Charles; retired Superintendent, Ephraim Doyle; CID head, Superintendent Ernest James; Inspector Elvis Browne of the RRU, and detective Corporal Eloise Clarke.