The Grenada Revolution Online

The Royal Grenada Police Force

Royal Grenada Police Officer
Reproduction of original artwork courtesy of
Grenadian Artist Lisa Herrera

Maintaining law and order, under the Royal Grenada Police Force [RGPF], dates back to 1853. The RGPF, in 1854, was quartered at Fort George.

Taking up the police service for the time period of this website (1970-1984), below is a chart of past Commissioners of Police during the time Head of Government was Eric Matthew Gairy.*

Mr. Stephen Bascombe 1969-1970
Mr. R. King 1970-1971
Mr. Nugent David 1971
Mr. R.L. Barrow 1971-1973
Mr. Nugent David 1973-1974
Mr. Osbert James 1974-1975
Mr. J. Usen 1975-1976
Mr. Osbert James 1976
Mr. Adonis Francis 1976
Mr. Osbert James 1976-1978
Mr. Anthony Bernard 1978
Mr. Osbert James 1978-1979

Below are the Commissioners of Police during the time Head of Government was Maurice Bishop. During this time the name RGPF was changed to the Police Service.*

Mr. Raphael Stanislaus 1979
Mr. James Clarkson 1979-1981
Mr. A. B. Bernard 1981
Major Ian St. Bernard 1981
Major Patrick Mc Leish 1981-1983

Headquarters following the 13th Match 1979 governmental change, moved from Fort George [renamed by that time Fort Rupert] to Melville Street, St. George's on 24 May 1979. After the landing of US troops 25 October 1983, Police Headquarters returned to Fort George.

During the time of the People's Revolutionary Government [PRG], the police force was renamed the Grenada Police Service. The name reverted back to the Royal Grenada Police Force [RGPF] following 25 October 1983.

During the time of the PRG, according to Martin,

. . ."RGPF lost virtually all of its historical authority; and was relegated to the control of domestic crimes and traffic supervision. The People's Revolutionary Army and other forces within the PRAF maintained law and order . . .

According to a former version of the RGPF site, "Prior to the year 1984, Police Officers recruited into the force were trained at the Regional Police Training Centre, Barbados and at True Blue in the southern part of St. George's."

The hierarchy of officers: Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Inspector, Cadet Officer, Sergeant, Corporal and Constable. One will see ACP, for example, which means Acting Commissioner of Police.

A recent former Commissioner of Police was Fitzroy Bedeau. Bedeau was with the RGPF during the time of the People's Revolutionary Government [PRG], as were many other officers, some of whom remained with the RGPF to this day.

On 24 March 2006, the current Commissioner of Police Winston James retired the end of July 2008. He was promoted to position of Commissioner in February 2006. Winston James became a member of the RGPF 21 August 1967.

The new Commissioner of Police, following the electoral victory of the National Democratic Party (NDC), was James Clarkson. COP Clarkson returned to lead the force, having retired in 2005 as Deputy Police Commissioner. Clarkson had previously been with the RGPF from 1970, but left the service in 1973 during the time of the Gairy Government because of "frustration and victimisation." Another previous experience with the police service was during the People's Revolutionary Government [PRG], 1979-1981.

Clarkson, who was born in Grenada 21 April 1944, is held in esteem by his fellow citizens, not only because of his character and leadership skills, but also because of his work with the Republic Bank Angel Harps Steel Band. From 1972 to the present, James Clarkson has been involved with leading, composing and arranging pan music. He directed the "Harps" in their recording in Barbados of "Brighter Out of Darkness", with the title song said to be written by Grenadian Walter Thomas.


Grenadians, according to various editorials and reports, enjoyed the results of Clarkson's support of the Royal Grenadian Police Force Band and rebuilding the image of the RGPF.

James Clarkson fulfilled his 3-year post as Commissioner of Police until his retirement the 30 August 2011. The position was filled contractually for one year starting in September 2011 by the former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson after having worked a month with Clarkson.

Willan Thompspon comes to the position with these credentials: Graduate of Presentation Brothers College [PBC], school teacher, joined RGPF as a Cadet Officer and was, for many years, head of Special Branch. As Thompson moved up in the ranks, he was Assistant Commissioner of Police with administrative responsibilities and then to Deputy Commissioner of Police.

*Thanks to information provided by the Royal Grenada Police Force web site history page.

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