On March 1st, 1840, The Bahamas Police Force was formed by sixteen (16) men under the command of Inspector General John Pinder. Some, if not all of these men, were former Night Guards. Probably all, with the exception of John Pinder, were former slaves. It is interesting to note that, in addition to the office of Inspector General, John Pinder was also elected as a member of the General Assembly in 1840.
This new Police Force was distinctly non-military in nature and provided a twenty-four (24) hour patrol of the Island of New Providence. It was not until several years later that members were transferred to some of the other islands. By the end of 1840, the strength of the Force was: one (1) Inspector General and a total of thirty (30) Sergeants, Corporals and Privates (the latter were the same as Constables).
Today, the Force is an extremely large and intricate 21st century law enforcement agency with over 4,000 officers, reserves and police civilians. The Police Force provides policing services to all residents and visitors of The Bahamas, an archipelago of over 700 Islands and Cays, strewn over 100,000 (258,998 square-kilometer) square miles of ocean, in the Atlantic. At its most northern tip, The Bahamas is approximately 50 nautical miles off the coastline of Florida, United States of America (USA). The chain of Bahamian Islands stretches south, over 500 miles (804 Km), toward The Dominican Republic.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF)exists under the authority of The Police Force Act 2009. In accordance with the Act, the Force is headed by a Commissioner who is subject to the authority of The Minister of National Security of The Bahamas. The Commissioner is Ex-Officio Provost Marshall and has the responsibility for the guidance and general direction of The Royal Bahamas Police Force. He is supported by a Deputy Commissioner and five (5) Assistant Commissioners. These officials make up what is known as the Senior Executive Leadership Team. The RBPF is divided into three districts: New Providence, Northern Bahamas and the Family Islands, and maintains its headquarters, located on East Street north, New Providence.