PM mum on if CoP requested early retirement
Colin O. John, Commissioner of Police
September 1, 2023

PM mum on if CoP requested early retirement

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has refused to confirm or deny that Commissioner of Police (CoP) Colin John has asked for early retirement.

On August 24 SEARCHLIGHT reported that St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will soon have a new CoP with the incumbent having given notice of his intention to proceed on early retirement.

But on Tuesday, August 29, Gonsalves said there is no announcement in that regard and if or when the CoP is to demit office, there will be a public statement.

“…Whether the Commissioner of Police has intimated orally or in writing his request for early retirement, I said to you that I am not going to confirm or deny that,” Gonsalves reiterated at Cabinet Room.

Gonsalves further noted that as a CoP, “You stay, you resign or if you haven’t reach retirement age, you seek early retirement.

“I have heard people say the Commissioner of Police has resigned…if you are in the public service all your life and you gone past 55, would you resign and lose your pension? Eh? I mean it just doesn’t make sense,” Gonsalves stated.

“I don’t know of anything concerning the resignation of Colin John as Commissioner of Police and I can say emphatically Colin John has not resigned because it is not within his interest. You just have to know the rules,” the Minister of National Security told reporters.

The Prime Minister noted also that CoP John is at an age where he is eligible for early retirement but when any public official asks for early retirement, the Public Service Commission (PSC) and in this case the Police Service Commission (PSC) will have to say yes, and he is not aware that any request has been made.

Gonsalves said he has been involved in the appointment of six Commissioners and he is familiar with Section 85 of the laws of SVG and the Constitution and it says that if an occasion arises for someone to be appointed CoP or act as CoP, the name has to first go to the Prime Minister for approval before the appointment is approved by the Governor General.

“The Governor General does the actual appointment upon the advice of the Police Service Commission but before giving advice to the Governor General, the Police Service Commission must consult the Prime Minister and if the Prime Minister, as a result of that, the Prime Minister objects to the name which the Police Service Commission is intended to advise the Governor General, the Police Service Commission cannot advise the Governor General on that name.

“So the name which goes to the Governor General has to have the approval of the Prime Minister and I am familiar with the process and I have been through it more than any other person,” Gonsalves said while noting that he is the only living person who has been involved in the appointment of a CoP.

John, 55, who has been CoP since December 31, 2018 is a 35-year veteran of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF).