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The Police Force After Independence

Independence resulted in a coming of age of  the Bahamian people. They became responsible for determining their own future. The population at that time was just over 168,812. The majority of the population lived in Nassau, which was becoming urbanized.  Tourism was clearly the major industry of the country. At the heart of this new status was the concept of Bahamianization .

For the Police this meant that Bahamians would have to fill the ranks from Commissioner of Police to Constable. Thus calling for the total abandonment of the recruiting policy in which foreigners were brought in as police officers for decades many foreigners excelled through the ranks of the Force while Bahamians were kept primarily in the lower ranks.

Amid the new symbols of nationhood a constitution, national anthem, coat of arms and flag there was new Leadership chosen to lead the Force  throughout the remainder of the decade. Mr. Salatheil Harvey Thompson, CMG, QPM, CPM, was the first Bahamian Commissioner of Police appointed on  June 1 , 1973. He succeeded Mr. John Hindmarsh of Britain.

The task a head for the new commissioner was a herculean one.