As­sis­tant Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Breaks Si­lence CAN HENRY BE GAGGED?

Once the most prom­i­nent mem­ber of the RSLPF, Frances Henry seemed to have re­ceded into the dark­ness of in­signif­i­cance since the Year of IMPACS.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - JA JAZZ - By Rick Wayne

O nce she was prac­ti­cally the voice of the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force. No more. Just about the time the na­tion first heard from its prime min­is­ter on the mon­ster now com­monly re­ferred to as IMPACS, the pre­vi­ously im­pos­ing im­age of As­sis­tant Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Frances Henry van­ished from our TV screens and our streets. Of­fi­cial ref­er­ences to her ac­tiv­i­ties abruptly ceased. She was no longer seen on po­lice pa­rades.

It turned out Henry had taken long leave, as had lead­ing of­fi­cers be­fore her—for­mer com­mis­sioner Ver­non Fran­cois, for ex­am­ple—when per­haps co­in­ci­den­tally their names had been associated with less than flat­ter­ing episodes. The dif­fer­ence was that the APC did re­turn to work, al­beit in­con­spic­u­ously. As they say, those who knew, knew. The ma­jor­ity con­tin­ued to be­lieve we had seen the last of Henry in po­lice khakis, al­beit re­gret­fully.

The old Henry would’ve con­vened a press con­fer­ence hours af­ter the rapes in Derek Wal­cott Square, not left it to a cor­po­ral to ad­dress the in­ci­dent via a phone call to Newsspin’s Ti­mothy Poleon. Count on it, the pre-2013 Henry would have com­mented on the ev­i­dent lack of a po­lice pres­ence at the square that might’ve de­terred the still to be ar­rested per­pe­tra­tors. She would not have ad­dressed the hor­ror in the voice of a hand­i­capped so­cial worker.

In all events, there could hardly have been many among Thurs­day evening’s TALK au­di­ence who an­tic­i­pated hear­ing the un­mis­tak­able voice of As­sis­tant Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Frances Henry as she iden­ti­fied her­self to the show’s host. Even more shock­ing was that her call had noth­ing to do with the ear­lier cited rape. In­deed, it seemed she was more con­cerned with dropped hints about her role in Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence—al­though she did not ac­tu­ally say so.

What she did say was that she was open to a no-holds-barred in­ter­view if I was in­ter­ested in fill­ing cer­tain blanks. I pre­sumed she re­ferred to the many ru­mors that sug­gested she had been side­lined, as Ver­non Fran­cois was side­lined, and would not be re­turn­ing to work at the end of her long va­ca­tion. I took the op­por­tu­nity on Thurs­day evening to seek con­fir­ma­tion that the pow­ers that be have re­fused to per­mit Henry to head the force in the ab­sence this week­end of the cur­rent Act­ing Com­mis­sioner Monch­ery. Her re­sponse was a telling chuckle and an in­vi­ta­tion to in­ter­view her on any mat­ter re­lat­ing to her pro­fes­sional ac­tiv­i­ties. It is in­con­ceiv­able that the as­tute po­lice of­fi­cer gave no thought to the pos­si­bil­ity that my first ques­tion to her might be re­lated to IMPACS, her in­volve­ment in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and her im­me­di­ate fu­ture.

Since her call to TALK, sev­eral par­ties have sug­gested “there is no way La Corbiniere will al­low Frances to talk to you, of all peo­ple.” My re­ac­tion: “Why not? Is he afraid the fa­mously forth­com­ing Henry will con­firm the pop­u­lar view of our jus­tice min­is­ter?”

In any event, soon enough we shall see!

Once upon a time she was tipped to be Saint Lu­cia’s first fe­male po­lice com­mis­sioner. To­day those close to As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Frances Henry say she is be­ing scape­goated by the IMPACS me­chan­ics!

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