In an interview during the final week in September 2023, Chief Superintendent of Police and Officer-In-Charge of the Eleuthera Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Jeremy Henfield, confirmed the arrival of new vehicles on the island, increasing the transportation fleet of the division.
About the new arrivals, he explained, “Sometime last week, the Police Commissioner rolled out his plan in terms of bringing new vehicles to New Providence and the Family Islands. Eleuthera received three trucks which came into the island, out of a new fleet of one hundred. We are grateful for those vehicles, as here in Eleuthera we had a transportation shortage.
“So, those three trucks will go a great way. We sent one truck into Rock Sound to cover the southern end – with the Disney project ongoing down there, people should now be able to see the police in those areas. One vehicle is here in Central, and one was sent in the North, covering the international airport, to ensure that we get coverage there.
Addressing the question of the intended use of the new vehicles, OIC Henfield shared, “The main purpose of these vehicles will be patrolling. You would note that they are trucks, so it tells you they are not for speed. It is not our intention to speed and chase anyone. The main purpose of these vehicles is for patrol. They are outfitted with all of the lights necessary. So, we want the public to see the police in all of these communities. My mandate is that once the patrol leaves the station, there should be some patrol light on… The biggest thing is patrolling. There has to be police presence within the communities.”
Commenting on the strategy and intention behind the increased patrols, OIC Henfield said, “What we are going to do, as we are approaching the holiday season, is we will change gears. You would have seen us a lot of times during the day. We will now change those times, as people begin to do their little shopping, you will see police more in the evenings once shops close.
“Later on we will further advise what people should be doing to safeguard themselves during the holiday time. We have to shift gear, because the criminals are watching us. So, as they shift gear, we have to as well. That is what you will see happening. People will continue to see us with our patrols, keeping the streets quiet.”
Speed was also a major concern on the island’s roads, shared Henfield. “We are now waiting on and should soon be getting two motorcycles coming in. We have one older one now, and are looking forward to increasing that with two. Then we are also looking forward to receiving a speed device (speed gun), as some people use the street as a race track.”
He continued, “My intentions are to see if we can open a traffic area, where we have officers on the street, where you can see the motorcycles on the street during the daytime, setting up little checks here and there with the speed gun. People need to remember that the speed limit is still 45 miles per hour (mph).
“There is no need for these big tractor trailers to be doing certain speeds. In fact, the speed limit for tractor trailers should be 30 mph, but we know the island is long, and no one does 30 – it may be hard to do 30 mph if you are pulling a big load. But there has to be some consideration for other road users. We have a lot of curves and a lot of hills in Eleuthera, and so our intention is to see how safe we can keep the roadways for all users. That is very important.”