St Lucia’s Commissioner of Police not on leave
August 13, 2013

St Lucia’s Commissioner of Police not on leave

The government of St Lucia has refuted claims that Commissioner of the Royal St Lucia Police Force Vernon Francois has been put on leave.{{more}}

According to St Lucia News Online, the St Lucia Government, in a press release, also said that there was no intention to replace the Commissioner.

“The attention of the government of Saint Lucia has been drawn to a story on the online news site, Caribbean News Now allegedly written by a ‘Caribbean News Now Contributor’. The story, alleges, among other things, that the Commissioner of Police Mr. Vernon Francois, ‘has been requested to take accumulated vacation leave totaling some 400 days.’ It also alleges that ‘it has been suggested locally’ that former Deputy Commissioner, Hermangild Francis ‘will be brought back on a three year contract,’’ the government release said.

It continued: “The Government has not requested the commissioner of police to go on leave. On that count, the story is false.

While the Government of Saint Lucia cannot dispute that individuals do make insinuations or suggestions from time to time, be it to cause mischief or otherwise, it wishes to make it absolutely clear that there is no intention to replace the Commissioner of Police.”

According to the release, the only body with authority to fire or remove the commissioner is the public service commission and such a request was never made by the Government.

The release from the St Lucia Government comes following a statement last Friday, in which the Government of Saint Lucia said it is aware of the concerns and anxieties expressed by the public over what it described as the decision by the United States to disallow officers of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force from participating in several training programmes arranged or financed by the US.

Recently, Commissioner of Police Vernon Francois was not permitted to board a flight from Hewanorra International Airport, St Lucia, to the United States to participate in US organized and financed training programmes.

“The government also appreciates that these concerns and anxieties extend to the ranks of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force,” last Friday’s statement said.

The Government acknowledged that it was in the country’s vital interest to maintain close ties of co-operation with the United States in security matters.

“The issues are serious and complex,” the Government said, however.