The Royal Grenada Police Force and the Recruitment and Function of Police Aides
Paragraphs 56 thru 57. - The Setting-up of the Police Aides - Their Recruitment, Qualifications etc. - Evidence of Eric Matthew Gairy [Part A]
56. Mr. Gairy's evidence on the obligation of the Minister to supplement a law enforcement agency by private citizens is significant.
He said that he did not think "the law enforcement agency", presumably the Police Force, adequately handled law and order during the period January 1973 - March 1974; but it is to be observed that that was not the factor which caused him to seek recourse to the recruitment of private citizens to supplement the police because, in fact, he had adopted that method since 1970. Mr. Gairy said he did not know that the men recruited were called Special Reserve Police by members of the Police force of which he was the Minister responsible.
57. Much was said during the hearings about a group of men called the Mongoose Gang. some witnesses used the term "Police aides" and "Mongoose Gang" synonymously and interchangeably; although it should be added that the names of certain persons were unmistakenly identified as members of the Mongoose Gang as distinct from also being police aides.
For example, Mr. Seon said that he had seen police aides in the Parliament building "on times of Parliamentary meetings or some of the official functions - gubernatorial occasions - but the group known as the Mongoose Gang whom it is alleged are secret police or police aides have always been close to the Premier." the names of men frequently called by various witnesses were Moslyn Bishop, Willie Bishop, Raphael Brizan, Alston Hood (a/c "Thorne") and Albert Clarke. With regard to the Mongoose Gang, Mr. Gairy said he had only heard about them
"by people outside the Government, by the newspaper reports. My knowledge of this is, that at one time, maybe about 10 years ago, they selected a number of boys and I think, girls, when there was some almost epidemic case of rabies and some of these people went catching mongoose. The name remained with a few of them, and I think of the police aides there are about six of then who worked in the Mongoose Gang and so the name has come over to the police aides but they are really a gang of people employed by the Health Department some 10 or 12 years ago who went out catching mongoose."
Mr. Gairy said these members of the Mongoose Gang were recruited as police aides from 1970; but with regard to the newly formed Defence Force, they were formed in September, 1973, "when the Jewel decided they wanted to take over the Government by arms." Some note is required about Mr. Gairy's evidence in this connection. In his capacity as Minister of National Security, he received reports from
"my special branch of the C.I.D. They showed me pictures of some of the ammunition and explosives they found. They reported to me that they had held a man about 7 o'clock in the evening with digging materials in the back of his car - that's the same man called Hudson Austin. It was reported to me that there were several camps where young boys were being trained. It was reported to me that they raided a small outhouse somewhere in the St. Andrew's area and found four children about 5 o'clock in the morning sleeping - ranging between the age of 17 and 20 - and they had copies of the Jewel publication, and they had books, literature on guerilla warfare and subversion, - children, 17 to 20, - they were arrested and the thing that was rather significant to me is that these children came from different parts of the island, so it came to me that the Jewel were organising and they were somewhat properly organised and that what they were saying in the meetings was no joke - they were really serious, and it also came to me when the Jewel blocked the St. Paul's road and when two people came out with guns on each side."