Whether ex-soldiers are returning to Grenade to enter the Special Service Unit of the police force [GRD37549.E]

Reports on whether ex-soldiers returning to Grenada are entering the Special Service Unit of the police force could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, the following information may be of interest. According to the US Department of State Background Notes, an 80-member paramilitary special services unit (SSU) is part of the 650 members of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), which together with a 30-member coast guard, are responsible for Grenada's national security (Apr. 2000).

The Europa World Year Book 2000 states that the SSU "acts as the defence contingent and participates in the Regional Security System, a defence pact with other Caribbean states" (2001, 1655).

In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, an official of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) in St. David, Grenada, emphasized that all members of the SSU belong to the RGPF and that the SSU is a unit of the RGPF (31 July 2001). He said that the RGPF is open to all Grenadians, and members of the former People's Revolutionary Army (PRA)-now defunct-are eligible for recruitment provided they meet the selection criteria (ibid.)

He explained that in order to qualify, recruits must be between 19 and 35 years of age; 5' 4" if females or 5' 8" if males; and must pass a series of tests including an entrance examination followed by a medical examination (ibid.). If the medical examination is successful, candidates are then "vetted for good character" by members of a selection board. The selection board finally administers an oral interview and successful candidates are then required to undergo an initial training period of 24 weeks after which they are deployed to work in various government department including the SSU (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Background Notes: Grenada. April 2000. US Department of State. http://www/state.gov/www.background_notes/grenada_0400_bgn.html [Accessed: 31 July 2001]

The Europa Year world Year Book 2001. 2001. Vol. 1. 42th Ed. Markan, Ont.: International Press Publications. London: Europa Publications.

The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), St. David. 31 July 2001. Telephone interview with official.

Additional Sources Consulted

Amnesty International Report.

Caribbean and Central American Report.

IRB Databases.

Oral sources.

Police Studies: The International Review of Police Development.

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management.

Political Handbook of the World 2000. Edited by Arthur S. Banks. Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications.

Internet sites, including:

African Perspective

Grenada Government

Grenada Today

Search engines, including: