Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Clifford Blake begins acting police commissioner role today

Published:Thursday | February 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Blake

George Quallo officially vacated the post of Police Commissioner yesterday after spending roughly nine months on the job, clearing the way for Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake to act in the top-cop spot as of today until further notice.

A source from the Police Services Commission, the body responsible for selecting police commissioners, told The Gleaner yesterday that no one has yet applied for the position since news emerged of Quallo stepping down.

However, Blake's selection to act in the interim has attracted mixed reactions.

"He is a typical police," University of the West Indies political psychology lecturer Dr Christopher Charles told The Gleaner yesterday.

"I don't expect him to do anything different from Lucius Thomas, Dr Carl Williams, or Quallo. I see him as a competent official, but a typical one, that will do more of the same. He doesn't come across as a change maker," he said.

Security expert Robert Finzi Smith begged to disagree, however, describing Blake as silent but effective.

"I sat on a board with him. You know how some people are silently effective? Clifford is silently effective. He also is not going to take nonsense from anybody who might want to smudge the police force with bad name."

Smith told The Gleaner on Tuesday that anyone who is eventually selected as commissioner must serve at least three years in the position to create any serious impact and must be able to negotiate various perks for rank-and-file police personnel that could motivate them.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com