Bermuda’s first black Police Commissioner Frederick “Penny” Bean dies at 82

HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC  – Police Commissioner Steven Corbishley has led tributes to one of his predecessors, Frederick “Penny” Bean, who has died at the age of 82.

Appointed in 1981, Bean was the first black Bermudian to hold the post and remained in charge for nine years.

Bean joined the force in June 1956, aged 19, and  endured discrimination even as he climbed the ranks.

“When I received the call last evening alerting me on the passing of our late commissioner, I immediately began to reflect on all of the powerful sentiments that were expressed to me in the short time I have been on the island about the character of Mr. Bean by serving and former officers,” said Corbishley.

“What was evidenced by all of the positive comments I have had the honor of hearing was the profound impact he had on the development of officers and his love and unwavering support of the Bermuda Police Service.On February 21, 1981, Mr. Bean made history when he became the first Bermudian born officer to rise from the rank of constable to commissioner.”

Bean rapidly moved through the ranks and was promoted to chief inspector in 1971, and two  years later he was promoted to the rank of superintendent and transferred to the Special Branch.

“During his time, he oversaw many advances such as police communications and computerisation,” said Corbishley.

Corbishley added that Bean was also a believer in the parish constable concept of policing.

Added Minister of National Security Wayne Caines: “As the first Bermudian to hold the post of Commissioner of Police, Mr Bean leaves a legacy that will for ever be etched in history and our memories. Bermuda will be ever grateful for his life and contributions, and we will all mourn his passing.”

During an illustrious 35-year policing career, Bean received several letters of good work and police commendations, culminating in him receiving the OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1991.

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