Fri | Nov 24, 2017

Opposition warns Montague of overreaching on JCF promotions

Published:Saturday | September 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
National Security Minister Robert Montague
Recent graduates from the National Police College of Jamaica
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The Opposition People's National Party (PNP) is warning National Security Minister Robert Montague of overreaching after he took the Police Services Commission (PSC) to task over its failure to promptly promote scores of police personnel.

In a statement released to the media earlier this week, the PNP said that while it "fully supports the need for immediate attention to all the factors affecting police morale and operations, including promotions, it is warning the minister of national security that ministerial overreach and public disrespect of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Act and the police leadership cannot be tolerated".

 

Called for promotions

 

Montague had called on the PSC, headed by Professor Gordon Shirley, to promote who he called "deserving policemen and women", adding that money was available in the budget to facilitate the new pay packages should they come on stream.

According to the minister, there are 64 vacancies available for officers to be promoted by the Police Services Commission and a total 385 vacancies at various levels of the force.

Montague's call came amid the longstanding issue of widespread discontent among members of the JCF concerning promotions.

The PNP reminded the minister that the law specifically restricts his role in policy and prohibits him from interfering in operational matters, which are the sole purview of the commissioner of police.

The party said it, therefore, considered Montague's statement on promotions to be out of order in both tone and content.

"It disrespects the role of the commissioner and is a scandalous attempt to interfere in the administrative affairs of the JCF, with particular reference to the promotions of its officers," the PNP said.

... JCF hierarchy responsible enough to determine time for promotion

Chairman of the Police Officers Association Deputy Superintendent Catherine Lord said that she supports the promotion of police personnel based on merit, while noting that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) hierarchy is responsible enough to determine when the most suitable persons are ready for promotion.

"There are always officers deserving of promotion. This is the reality of the fluidity in the force, where persons are promoted based on merit. But the hierarchy is responsible enough to make the appropriate promotion and at a time convenient," the DSP explained.

"But let us not forget that promotions, in and of themselves, in the JCF can be considered disruptive, in the sense that some persons who expect to be promoted, if they are not, may cause some amount of disruption, so the timing is also critical."

 

EXISTING JCF VACANCIES

 

- 64 for Inspector

- 85 for Assistant Superintendent

- 14 for Deputy Superintendent

- 11 for Superintendent

- 10 for Senior Superintendent

- 2 for Assistant Commissioner of Police

- 1 for Deputy Commissioner of Police

 

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com