By anguillian July 13, 2015 09:12



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Governor Scott, Commissioner Proctor and Chief Minister Banks

Governor Scott, Commissioner Proctor and Chief Minister Banks

Another person might have broken down in tears, but Anguilla’s retiring Commissioner of Police, Daniel Rudolph Proctor Esq., remained dignified and resilient as he delivered a parting address at Government House on Thursday evening, July 2.

The occasion was a low-key farewell reception, hosted by Governor Christina Scott, to mark Mr. Proctor’s retirement on Friday, July 10, after 32 years in the Royal Anguilla Police Force and at the still productive age of fifty years.

“I have enjoyed my service… and if you see me disappear from the public, or become less of a public figure, don’t think that I am hiding. I am now returning home to my family, to my children, those who really supported me, and my friends,” he told the gathering. “This humble servant returns to his humble beginnings from which he came.”

Touching words indeed from an accomplished young man who unflinchingly stood for what he believed; occupied, perhaps, the hottest seat of the law in Anguilla; and executed his duties at the highest level of devotion with admired humility and deportment.

But for Mr. Proctor, it was not always easy. “It was a privilege serving the Anguillian people beyond any measure,” he said. “I have no regrets about my service as a police officer. I was well prepared for all the ranks that I worked to reach where I am in the police force. I worked with some very good people. I remember my first placement in the CID, working with a group of men who really cared for my wellbeing and saw to it that I received the necessary training back then; and they were some very brave people who I worked with…Those people gave me the courage to stay on the job, but I didn’t intend to remain for thirty-two years as a police officer. I came in the force as a steppingstone to move on, but I quickly realised that this is a noble profession – that one should develop in it and I did just that.”

Commissioner Proctor continued: “I enjoyed the years before 2010. Those were very good years. In 2010 I saw an Anguilla I never knew existed, but an Anguilla that my father always warned me about…He said things to me like ‘Danny, don’t knock glass with nobody who wants to cut your throat’. I remembered that when I sat in the chair.

“I also now remember when my predecessor [Mr. Keithly Benjamin, now Magistrate], pointing to the chair, told me ‘this is a very lonely chair’… but at the same token it would be unambitious not to work towards seating in this chair’. As soon as I got into that chair, I realised what he meant. There were a number of things he said to me about sitting in that chair, and being the Commissioner of Police that put me in a position to stand up and represent the officers. Some of them I am not ashamed to say that I would not want to knock glass with, but I would tell you this: ‘the Royal Anguilla Police Force has a good core of officers representing it and they need to be applauded for that.”’

Proctor went on: “One of the things my predecessor said to me was that ‘when you make a point or a decision, you must stand by it. You must represent it; you must make it part of you’. I did that. I think in the history of the RAPF there was no Commissioner who had to be at the Executive Council more than me to explain what was happening in Anguilla. And I would say this: When I sat with my brothers and sisters in the region and discussed criminal activity, Anguilla was always in a good position. But now we have some work to do to rein in the youngsters who are turning into bandits and criminals and perpetrating crimes in our community. It is not the Commissioner and the police officers alone in this fight. These criminals come from the community. They are people’s children and a lot of people see what they do but they say nothing and do nothing…If we want to move forward as a nation, we have to change our attitude.”

Governor Scott said she had endeavoured to persuade Mr. Proctor to stay on but he declined to do so – probably because he had other ambitions. She praised him for having been committed to his duties, and for bringing to bear the necessary leadership, energy, passion and knowledge of Anguilla. She thanked him for his service to Anguilla and said she was very sad to see him go.

The Governor was joined by Chief Minister, Mr. Victor Banks, who reflected on Mr. Proctor’s early life in The Farrington and the mentoring he received from a number of persons. He recognised that, as Commissioner of Police, Proctor had a challenging task, but had acquitted himself very well. Mr. Banks thanked the outgoing Commissioner for his work in the Royal Anguilla Police Force, and wished him the very best in life on behalf of the Government and people of Anguilla.

Commissioner Proctor will be replaced by Mrs. Amanda Stewart who has over thirty years of policing experience and was most recently in the Police Service in Northern Ireland from where she has been recruited to Anguilla. She is due to take up her appointment on Monday, July 13.

By anguillian July 13, 2015 09:12


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