Wed | May 22, 2019

No gender bias in McBean’s ouster – Police Fed chair

Published:Friday | February 1, 2019 | 12:25 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Ricardo Makyn/Chief Photo Editor Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service, Corporal Arleen McBean, then chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, pose with Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang and Inspector of Police Sheldon Gordon at the signing of heads of agreement for the contract periods 2017-2019 and 2019-2021 between the Government of Jamaica and the Jamaica Police Federation on December 14, 2018.

Inspector Sheldon Gordon, the man who has been controversially parachuted into the chairmanship of the Jamaica Police Federation, has fired back at the former chairman, Corporal Arleen McBean, who hinted at gender bias as the reason for her no-confidence ouster on Tuesday.

Speaking yesterday with The Gleaner, Gordon insisted that McBean was not forcibly removed because she is a woman.

“There is no gender bias. There is not even a chance of gender bias. I am saying if there was gender bias, how could we have four males and four females [on the central committee of the federation]?” Gordon questioned.

In seeking to further brush aside the allegation, he said there was no fixation with gender when McBean was first elected unanimously as chairman of the 75-year-old organisation on May 18, 2018.

He also sought to dismiss reports, some coming from within the police federation, that politics played a central role in McBean’s removal.

“I cannot speak to the populace of what they think and what they believe, but what we can say is that we are independent of politicians and political organisations. We are police, we are not politicians, and we would never seek to go down that route. It is a very dangerous path to mix politics and policing.”

While not divulging details, Gordon suggested that McBean had failed to satisfy the demands of the federation.

“We had a meeting last year where the mandate was given, and promises were given that there would have been some adjustment in remedying some of the issues which were ventilated, and [they weren’t fulfilled],” the inspector told The Gleaner yesterday.

Calls to McBean’s phone for comment went unanswered.

Gordon has refused to accept any responsibility for the failures of the federation, even though he was general secretary under McBean’s watch.

No other member of the executive resigned or was removed.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com