My interest in the Bermuda Police Force resulted indirectly from a visit to Barbados by then Commissioner of Police, Nobby Clarke who came to Barbados on a recruitment drive. In addition to looking for police recruits, he was also in search of a good bodywork officer for the police garage and was introduced to my brother Trevor who was then working in the Police Body Shop in Barbados. Commisssioner Clarke invited Trevor to Bermuda in January 1980, and he was put to work in the body shop. I guess they wanted to see his skills first hand. He was offered the job and returned in April 1980 specifically to work in the body shop.
Trevor then encouraged me to apply as the Bermuda Police were recruiting civilians to join the service. I saw it as an opportunity to change careers, travel and to make a better living. I was the father of a two year old boy, Dwayne. I had been working at a couple of sugar plantations in Barbados as a Junior Overseer.
I decided to apply and was selected for an interview with Commissioner Clarke and Supt. Harvey. I was one of the chosen six Barbadians. I did not know any of them before the selection process but later found out that I did cross paths, so to speak, with Peter Clarke. During a conversation with him whilst in training, I found out that he spoke Spanish and worked at a jewelry and camera store in Barbados called Louis Bayley. I then realized it was he who impressed me when I heard him conversing in Spanish with some tourists at the said jewelry store. I had studied Spanish but was not fluent in the language.
I arrived in Bermuda on 8th May 1980 along with Peter Clarke, Graveney Bannister, Glendall Phillips, Andrew Foster, and Winston Forde. We all attended Basic Training Course #27 which was held from May to August 1980.
Basic Training Course #27 - May to August 1980
I worked with some really great guys during my career.
After graduating from Training School I was first posted to the Eastern Division at St. George’s Police Station, ‘B’ watch, with Sgts. Ashurst and Osbourne. I also worked with Sgt. Eddie Edwards, PC’s Bill Webster, Al McNaughton, Trevor Knight, Randy Liverpool, Glen Phillips, Wayne Ingemann, Terry Spencer, John Pearson, Glenna Andrew, June Pitt and Marjorie Amos.
The very first night I was on patrol with Terry Spencer and he stopped a car with one tail light out, to give me my first ticket. As I approached the car I slapped the lens and the light came on. Spencer later laughed and told me to never slap a light again!
I had the opportunity of working with other officers during my two years in St. George’s. Peter Clarke later joined the watch along with Mark Cartwright, Phillip Scott, Dave Doak, Ian Parkin, Graham Mitchell and Peter Meade. I successfully completed my Grade 2 driving course and was quite happy working in St. George’s, but Sgt. Ashurst had other ideas. He recommended me for Traffic Department.
I was transferred to Operations (Traffic) in 1982. George Rushe was my Sergeant but he was quickly transferred to another department and Barry Walkes became the acting Sergeant. The traffic officers comprised of Cindy Eve, Iain Morrison, Frankie Foggo, Terrie Maxwell, Wallie Lumb, Daryl Mansbridge and another officer who quickly moved to Narcotics. Frankie was the prankster on the watch. He was always up for a good laugh.
Back then, the emergency equipment in the cars only worked when the engine was switched on. Especially during night shift, Frankie would switch on all the equipment in the car, even the wipers and turn up the radio volume to the max. As one switched on the engine everything would go haywire. Some never thought of switching the engine off but would frantically reach for each switch or knob to silence the noise. Of course Frankie would have a good laugh.
One afternoon, I was the driver with PC Maxwell as observer when I was told to take a package to the Airport urgently. With blue light activated and headlights on, I was making my way along Harrington Sound, Smith’s when I came upon a driving school vehicle ahead. Not knowing the driving school instructor had seen me approaching and told the trainee to get off the road, I positioned my vehicle to overtake just as the car proceeded to turn right onto Sommersall Road, directly across my path.
With quick thinking and to avoid a collision between two police vehicles, I activated the emergency horn and turned onto Sommersall Road just ahead of the driving school car. We noticed the instructor was Paul Eurell. Oh dear! We are in trouble for sure. I didn’t slow down and was now headed to the airport via South Road. “Switch the radio to channel 2 and we wouldn’t hear him” but sure enough we were ordered to give our location and to stop, via channel 2.
We stopped near Tuckers Town and waited for the Driving School car. Paul Eurell approached us and after giving me a bollocking, congratulated me for quick thinking! He said he never directed the trainee to turn onto Sommersall Road but to pull over to give clearance.
A few weeks later, PC Maxwell and I were sent on a Grade 1 driving course with none other than, you guessed it, Paul Eurell. As he walked into the classroom to give instruction, he looked at Terrie and me, and we just laughed. We both passed the course and shortly after completing the course I was transferred to MCPS where I spent the next eight years. PC Maxwell followed a bit later.
My first stint in MCPS was under Inspector Eddie Foggo and Sgt. Paynter. I was partnered with Ralph Lindo a fun guy to work with but also a no nonsense person when it came to his duties. Some of the fellows on ‘A’ Team over the years were Tyrone Smith, Steve Rollinson, Norman Wilson, Mark Bothello,Terry Spencer, Merv Dickinson, Kit Alvis, Gary Venning, Stuart Mason, Glyn Jones, Robert Railton and Paul Singh. Ray Bell later became the Sergeant of ‘A’ Team then Inspector. I also served under Inspectors Denis Brookes and John McConnie.
Once, whilst on radar duties, I stopped a young lady for speeding. She started hyperventilating and I decided to let her go with a warning. Word quickly got back to me that the lady was making jokes with the colleagues in her office about how she tricked a particular officer.
Sometime later, as you would have it, I was on radar duty with PC Robert Railton when he radioed to me that he had stopped a lady who seemed to be also hyperventilating. I told him to return to my location with the lady. Sure enough, the same lady. All I said was, ‘book her'. Don’t think she tried that again.
I was promoted to Sergeant on April 1, 1994 and remained in Traffic until my transfer to Central as the patrol Sergeant. I was later transferred back to MCPS as the OIC of 'A' Team. I don’t remember all the officers but Ferdie Thorne, Raul Ming, Dennis Maybury, Garic Swainson and Dave Peach were part of that crew.
From MCPS I went to the Western Division as a watch Sergeant and was later sent to Aylmer (CPC) in Canada to complete a Supervisory Course.
I was later attached to W/CID as Detective Sergeant with Detective Inspector Tracy Adams in charge and then W/Detective Inspector Beverly Pitt. Sergeant Kevin Christopher, Detective constables Michael Redfern, James Hoyte, Trent Lightbourne, Dave Greenidge, Patrick Rock, WDC’s Belboda, Abdullah and O’Mara were also part of that crew. I also had stints as Acting Detective Inspector.
My last tour of duty was Sgt in charge of a watch in Comops. I truly enjoyed my time there and was on duty during hurricane Fabian when lives were tragically lost on the Causeway, including two serving Officers, a civilian Station Duty Officer and a private citizen. My Comps team included Rudy Richardson, Shelly Grant, Mike Harvey and the late Richard Flood.
I was married to the former WPS Andrea Browne which ended in divorce in 2004. Sadly, she passed away in 2011.
As Police Officers were allowed to have secondary employment, I started a small landscaping business which operated for about 16years.
On my own initiative, I completed the Supervisory Management Course and the Preliminary Certificate in Legal Studies at the Bermuda College
In 2004, I attended the University of North Florida and completed both the Advance Traffic Accident and Accident Reconstruction Courses.
On my retirement in 2008, I continued to operate my landscaping and trucking business and also did home maintenance. I also operated a small shop, West Indian Variety, on the corner of Court and Dundonald Streets where I imported and sold goods from some Caribbean Islands.
I remarried in 2009 and my wife Maria is from the Dominican Republic. I left Bermuda in 2010 when I returned to Barbados and started a small farm. I am the proud father of two wonderful kids. Maria is fluent in English and she is my helpmate on the farm. I still struggle with Spanish but get by with Spanglish😃.
My son is Clive Jr. and he will be ten years old in October. My daughter is Kelsey who will be six on September 26, four days after mine.
I spent quite a bit of time in the Dominican Republic but Covid has now changed that.
On my farm here in Barbados, I have a variety of fruit trees and I plant crops inclusive of cassava, pumpkins, sorrel, okras and a variety of other vegetables.
Monkeys are a constant problem so I try innovative ways of stopping them, hence the scarecrow in one of the pics. I was told I need to change the clothing as these little devils are quite intelligent.
The animals on the farm include chickens, rabbits and until recently, black belly sheep. Stray dogs killed the last seven sheep I had. Pets include two dogs and about seven cats.
The ash fall from La Soufriere was more of a nuisance. It was everywhere. It was quite heavy here in Barbados but seems to have served the soil well. Some trees are blossoming out of season and crops seems healthier.
Barbados also had a freak storm soon after the La Soufriere eruption which caused extensive damage to various homes. I also lost a dog house and a few trees blew over. All in all, I was slightly inconvenienced.
Covid has changed the way we live but my greatest challenge is online schooling with my kids. It calls for most of my time during the day. I try my best to stay safe and my wife and I are fully vaccinated.
As for my brother Trevor, he had been a policeman in Barbados working in the bodywork shop. But when he was appointed to work for the Bermuda he was not required to attend Police Training School. He worked there until he resigned around 1997, and he continues to be self employed as a bodywork specialist. He is seen above relaxing at the home of one of my sister's, something we all do on Sundays to spend time with family.
Social media is really a blessing as I keep in contact with former colleagues here and abroad. I am in constant contact with some former officers here in Barbados and bump in to others from time to time. Orson Daisley, Peter Clarke, Kenny Dottin, Mike Jackman, Carlisle Butcher, Andy Boyce, Plil Lewis, Barry Walkes, Dennis Archer, Gary Murrell, Lionel Haynes, David Gibbons, Richard Austin, Legay Farley, Willy Bourne, Ronald Greenidge and Aideen Fletcher.
The only one from my initial training school group who still resides in Bermuda is Glen Phillips. Andrew Foster returned to Barbados and he is another ex-officer I keep in contact with. Winston Forde lived in the USA for sometime and had returned to Barbados a few years ago. We made contact but I’m not sure if he returned to the USA. Bannister is a Magistrate here.
I would love to visit Bermuda but we will see how this pandemic goes.
Editors note - After receiving this fascinating article from Clive, I wrote to ask him if he could provide me with details of any Commendations etc. he received during his police career. I can usually find these in the police register at Police HQ, but unfortunately, Clive’s file is in a store room at Prospect, along with many others who served in the Bermuda Police Service through the late 1990’s and early 2000’s who's files were changed from the police register to individual file folders. It is most unfortunate because the room where they are stored was left without air conditioning when Police HQ transferred from Prospect to Hamilton, and the room is now full of mold and is off limits. However, Clive obviously has an excellent memory because he sent me the following additional information which I’m delighted to add to his article.
Letters of Good Work and Commendations
My first letter of good work came after Trevor Knight and I assisted a male tourist who was suffering a heart attack. He entered the station with his wife and was complaining of pain in his left arm and chest. Sgt. Ashurst told us to take the man in the patrol car and meet the ambulance. I was in the back seat with him giving oxygen via an ambu bag and Trevor was hastily making time to meet the ambulance. All I was thinking, ‘please don’t let this man die’ because he seemed to be losing consciousness. We made it as far as Kilderry Estate before the ambulance crew took over. His wife later wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Police, thanking us for helping to save her husband’s life.
Would you believe that one of my letters of good work was for changing a flat tyre? PC Norman Wilson and I came upon a lady in distress on Crow Lane. I guess no other person wanted to assist. PC Wilson and I changed the tyre and the lady wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Police thanking us for our assistance.
A few more letters of good work came via Supt. Richmond for intelligence submissions.
Whilst on night shift in Hamilton one weekend, I was the lone Officer on the street after assigning all the other duties. There were two officers in C.I.D who were due to go off duty at 4:00a.m. A female taxi driver entered the station and reported that a guy was going berserk on Front Street near Par-la-Ville junction. I requested back up from the C.I.D officers and went to investigate.
A male was located on Bermudiana Road. He was about six feet, muscular build and was shouting, screaming and banging on buildings. An ambulance was summoned as it appeared this man was in some kind of distress. He was incoherent and refused any assistance from police and ambulance personnel. In the interest of safety it was decided to take him to the hospital for evaluation. He refused to go to the hospital and I decided it was best to take him into protective custody. He put up a fight but was eventually taken into custody.
Whilst inside the police vehicle he began to kick the doors and windows. We had to restrain his legs also. On arrival at Hamilton Police Station, he started bleeding quite badly from his nose.
After a few calls to the hospital an ambulance arrived and transported him to hospital, still in restraints. I along with the CID officers also attended the hospital. On arrival the man went into cardiac arrest. He subsequently passed away.
As a result of his death, all sorts of accusations were made of Police brutality. A coroner’s inquest was held with evidence given by ambulance personnel, medical personnel, civilians, forensic pathologist and police.
It was revealed that the man died from induced cocaine sycosis. I was commended by Senior Magistrate Will Francis after giving my evidence .
On another occasion, I was the Sergeant on duty in Somerset and was about to go off duty from the Late shift when a call came into the station from the restaurant opposite Cricket Lane that a man had been beaten and the suspect was trying to place him in a dumpster! The Night shift was being paraded so I gathered a few guys from the Late shift and headed to the location. On arrival, the suspect was still attempting to put the injured man in the dumpster. On seeing us he ran off but I, along with another officer, pursued and caught the suspect outside the Somerset Cricket Club.
The subject had been beaten quite severely and was bleeding quite badly from a head wound. An ambulance was summoned and he was taken to hospital. The subject spent some time in hospital and then rehab. C.I.D took over the investigation and the suspect was eventually jailed for several years.
Both of my commendations came whilst I was attached to Western Division. It was reported that there was a handbag snatch near the Horizons Guest House in Paget and the suspects, on separate cycles we’re heading west. I figured the most likely road they would take would be Harbour Road. Following the description, I observed both cycles near Tamarind Vale and reported back to Com Ops. We were traveling in opposite directions. I did not alert them but turned around to follow at a distance. I believed one suspect turned off somewhere on Burnt House Hill but the other turned off into White’s Supermarket parking lot. By then another police car arrived and the suspect was arrested. The investigation led to the second suspect and both were later convicted.
The second commendation was when I, along with other Officers, went to the assistance of PC Wheddon who had been struck on the head with an iron pipe. The suspect was still wielding the pipe on our arrival keeping Officers at bay. PC Dave Gilles rushed the suspect but he freed his hand and was going to strike out at PC Gilles. I rushed him and we disarmed and arrested him. I believe that the suspect was eventually ordered to MAWI.
PC Wheddon suffered two lacerations to the head as a result and was transported to hospital by ambulance.
My time with the Bermuda Police was eventful and rewarding. I had my ups and downs but that’s life. There’s more that can be said but I think the events mentioned are the ones that impacted me more, one way or the other.