Top cop decries corruption, gender barriers in force
Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
Western Bureau: Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams says if the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is to realise the level of professionalism that is desired, the corruption which exists at various levels within the organisation must be tackled quickly.
Speaking at last weekend's Police Officers' Association annual general meeting, in Montego Bay, the commissioner implored his senior officers to live above board in the midst of the intense scrutiny of the media and the general public, as he vowed to put systems in place to eliminate the scourge of corruption.
"We must adopt a zero tolerance for corruption," he said. "We have to make some systematic changes to the culture that tolerates corruption or that turns a blind eye to corruption."
According to the commissioner, just talking about corruption is not enough because what is really needed is concrete action to fix the problem.
"We should not just talk about it. As officers, we should be the example of what it is to be a professional police officer with no taint of corruption right through and through.
"It is not just sufficient to sign a document and say that 'I buy into the anti-corruption strategy'. We have to enforce all the regulations and the ethical standards that eschew corruption, and stamp corruption from our midst once and for all," he said.
"We should not subscribe to the myth that it is just the corporals and the constables. We know we have a deeper problem than that."
Dr Williams also pointed out that he would be fair and balanced on matters relating to upward mobility in the organisation.
"Now, if we are going to be a professional and transparent organisation, we have to treat everyone, not just the men, equitably," the commissioner noted. "We need to ensure that people are put into positions based on their abilities and I see a lot of ability in the finer gender of this organisation.
"In this force, we have some systemic barriers that prevent female officers from achieving their full potential, and people on the outside are looking in," the commissioner added.