Police rotation policy within police chiefs job description: Vice President Senior

Police chiefs push back on the Ministry of Justice rotation policy put into effect on January 5th, 2023 by the Minister of Justice and Vice President Uduch Sengebau-Senior.

During an oversight hearing of the Ministry of Justice and its divisions, the chiefs called to testify did not express outright support for the new rotation policy, with all saying that they just followed orders and one expressively saying he did not support it.

Interim chiefs of Patrol, Transnational Crime, and Fire & Rescue stated that the process made them feel like they were being demoted or punished for something.  Despite the lack of consultation and limited transition, all the testified chiefs believed it was part of their oaths to obey orders and keep the peace.

In a letter to Senate JGA Committee Chairman Senator Jonathan Isechal, Vice President and Minister of Justice Uduch Sengebau-Senior explained that the job description of police chiefs “is designed to oversee the overall operations and management of the divisions…under the direction of the Director, Bureau of Public Safety.  Incumbent is responsible for planning and coordinating personnel management, budget, and duties and responsibilities entailed of said division in accordance with all applicable laws, executive orders, directives, rules and regulations, code of ethics, and other appropriate policies.”

The job description list, also provided by the Vice President Senior, states, “Perform other related duties assigned by the Director, Bureau of Public Safety, and/or the Minister of Justice.”

Minister of Justice Senior added that chiefs of divisions of BPS are “management positions.”
“The chiefs do not actually handle cases, write incident reports or respond to reports of crimes.”

Senators during the hearing raised concern about the process as well. Senator Sengebau raised the possibility of the violation of Civil Service regulations, while Senator Eldebechel raised an issue with certain positions requiring specialty skillsets.

Vice President Sengebau-Senior, in her letter, said that “all of the chiefs have been with the Bureau of Public Safety for more than ten (10) years and have been exposed to the various divisions within the bureau.”

“This rotation assignment has also brought about many improvements in the various divisions,” expressed Vice President Senior.

“Based on the above documents, I think you will agree with me that the Cross Training and Rotation Policy for MOJ Law Enforcement Officers that was issued on January 5, 2023, was a valid exercise of my authority as Minister of Justice and the rotation policy was legally sound,” stated the letter to the Senate JGA Committee on the validity of the MOJ Rotation and Cross Training Policy.

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