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Retired cops advise commish

Published:Monday | May 18, 2015 | 12:00 AMGlenroy Sinclair

Increased police presence, effective supervision, and dispatching more intelligence officers to the streets of Jamaica are among the solutions several retired senior officers are proposing, if given the opportunity to offer some advice to Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams, in tackling Jamaica's soaring crime problem.

"I believe the method of intelligence gathering needs to be improved. While technology is good, we need to create more informants. More intelligence officers need to be out there in the field. Also, there needs to more effective supervision and police presence," a retired assistant commissioner, formerly in charge of the crime portfolio, commented yesterday.

The former senior officer, who retired a decade ago and requested anonymity, charged that there are a number of well-trained, experienced crime fighters and investigators who have been sidelined and are probably lost in the system.

"If some of these persons are put back on the front line, it could make a big difference," the retired officer said.

Another retired assistant commissioner, Garnet Daley, formerly in charge of the Anti-Crime Investigation Detachment Squad and the National Firearm Bureau and Intelligence Centre, stressed that the Government should utilise the expertise of some retired senior officers, especially those who were trained locally and overseas.

Daley believes that the retired senior officers could assist with the intelligence network.

"We need to get out there on the ground and mix with the people and build the confidence, because there are people out there who are willing to talk, but they are not going to speak to the police via telephone or visit the police station. We need to go to them, interact with them on the ground," said Daley, who is suggesting to Williams that he improve the visibility of police on streets.

Build relationship with people

The suggestion of more interaction with the people was strongly supported by former assistant commissioner in charge of crime, Dick Hibbert.

"Confidentiality is key, and we have to try and build back the relationship with people. Build the trust and confidence and action whatever information we receive," said Hibbert, who is easily of one the country's best investigators.

The former head of the Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI), retired Assistant Commissioner Perry Edwards, suggested that divisional commanders host more monthly meetings with residents and listen to their concerns, as it relates to crime.

"I am suggesting more effective monitoring of patrols," said Edwards.

Like Daley, Edwards believes that the Government should call on the expertise of some retired seniors.

"To name a few, for example, people like retired assistant commissioners Winston Walker, Donald Brown, Dick Hibbert and even retired Senior Superintendent Gladstone C. Grant. These people were good crime fighters. We should utilise their expertise in one way or the other," said Edwards.