Happy in new role of lawyer

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - People - Rachelle Agard

by rachel­lea­gard@na­tion­news.com

Af­ter 35 years in the Royal Bar­ba­dos Po­lice Force, Neville Reid has hung up his sergeant’s uni­form to be­come a lawyer.

His last as­sign­ment as a po­lice of­fi­cer be­fore re­tir­ing in March was that of pros­e­cu­tor in Crim­i­nal Court No. 1 of the District “A” Mag­is­trates’ Court.

“[Be­com­ing a lawyer af­ter be­ing a pros­e­cu­tor] usu­ally fol­lows each other, and I al­ways be­lieved that peo­ple should try to im­prove them­selves and make use of the op­por­tu­ni­ties that come. When I first got pro­moted in 1995, I de­cided I should try to im­prove my­self by way of ed­u­ca­tion, so that I would be more ad­e­quately able to rep­re­sent the Force,” he said.

The 54-year-old Reid said he ap­plied to study law and his­tory at the Univer­sity of the West Indies, but was ac­cepted to do a phi­los­o­phy de­gree.

“Strangely enough, af­ter the first cou­ple of weeks, I re­ally fell in love with it. Al­though my grades were up and I had the op­por­tu­nity to change, I re­mained and com­pleted the de­gree in phi­los­o­phy,” he said.

Two years af­ter grad­u­at­ing, he took up his le­gal stud­ies and now he’s com­fort­ably work­ing with Queen’s Coun­sel An­drew Pil­grim and his team.

“I also did my in­tern­ship here, so it’s more like be­ing at home. It’s a nice fam­ily at­mos­phere, and there is a wealth of knowl­edge in cham­bers. When I came back from [Hugh Wood­ing Law School in Trinidad] in 2014, even be­fore be­ing ad­mit­ted to the Bar, Mr Pil­grim met me and said that if I was think­ing about mak­ing the change, his cham­bers were avail­able,” he said.

Reid re­sponded to pos­si­ble con­flict about mak­ing the change from polic­ing to de­fence coun­sel while hav­ing in­ti­mate knowl­edge of some of the pend­ing cases by say­ing it is all about be­ing fair.

“If any of those cases come my way, I would refuse them . . . . There is not ev­ery as­pect of in­ves­ti­ga­tion that is to come to the knowl­edge of the court; there are cer­tain things that would be kept in the po­lice cir­cles. Know­ing that, I would not get in­volved in any mat­ters that I was in­stru­men­tal in be­fore.

“I be­lieve I left the or­gan­i­sa­tion on rel­a­tively good terms . . . . A lot of col­leagues at my level and those who were su­per­vis­ing me were happy for me,” he said.

Pressed as to if he missed the uni­form, Reid said he did not at all, hav­ing worked in ev­ery area of the Force, ex­cept Po­lice Head­quar­ters and the Spe­cial Branch.

“I al­ways wanted to be a po­lice­man. The first time I went en­quir­ing about the Force, I was 14 years old, and the re­cruit­ing of­fi­cer laughed at me. I even­tu­ally joined on July 9, 1983. When I first joined the Force, I said if by 35 I am not pro­moted I would move on; I was pro­moted at 31. Then I said if by age 50 I am not off the streets and work­ing in an of­fice, I would move on,” he ex­plained, adding that he would spend the next ten to 15 years be­fore re­tir­ing.

(Pic­tures by Jameel Springer.)

Neville Reid says he is at home work­ing with Pil­grim & As­so­ciates.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Barbados

© PressReader. All rights reserved.