Frederick Bean born in 1936 was more likely interested in becoming one who helped in his community. He received his nickname of ‘Penny’ because of his size and colour at birth. He wanted to become a soldier with the Bermuda Militia Artillery but at the advice of his father decided to follow this path. He took night courses to become a motor mechanic but when the Royal Navy operations shut down in late 1950’s he worked in Hamilton working eventually for what would become Bermuda Motors on Church Street. At the suggestion of a friend to join the police force he thought about this and wanting to serve his country he made the bold move and joined the force at the age of 19 in June of 1956. Thus began the career of a young man who was not afraid to put his all into his career. He worked on the force for 34 years and during those years he created the police Community Relations Programme, the first Fraud Squad, he improved living quarters for single officers and improved on Internal Communications particularly a sophisticated secure multi-channel radio system at the combined Operations Centre at Prospect and the emergency 911 system. He became the first black Bermudian to hold the post of Commissioner of Police. Frederick’Penny Bean became the first Bermudian born officer to rise from the rank of Constable to Commissioner. In 1959 he was posted as a Criminal Investigator Division Constable under Mr. Bo Swainson.
In 1962 he attended a detective training course at Peel House in London and also was attached to the new Scotland yard for extra training. Upon returning to Bermuda he was promoted to Detective Sergeant and was transferred to the Western Division. In 1965 he was transferred to the newly formed Narcotics Department as the officer in charge. He excelled in that position to the pleasure and good work of his team. He continued to move through the ranks and was promoted to Chief Inspector in 1971 and in a matter of two years attained the rank of Superintendent and transferred to the Special Branch. Penny continued to advance in his career and studied any new courses regarding policing. He attended an overseas Command course at Branshell National Police College in England.
to his surprise not long after he returned to Bermuda he faced a general strike and higher political tension in 1981. It was not easy for Mr. Bean on racial lines but he soldiered on. He was directly responsible for expanding the technical support units in 1980’s along with the introduction of the first computerized incident management System integrated with a modern radio system. One could class him as a doctor Jackal and Mr. Hyde as he was a rigid disciplinarian and at times extremely gentle he earned the respect of all his colleagues classed as a humble caring person. He knew the importance of connecting with people face to face essential to the job. He was a founding member of the Bermuda police choir in 1963 and continued until 1993.
Frederick Penny Bean gave of his all to his family and his community. He left us for a greater reward in 2018. Well done my brother no one could have asked for more.