Sat | Dec 15, 2018

More accountability for Police Services Commission

Published:Thursday | January 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM


With the level of coldness and disregard that criminals in present day Jamaica show towards the rule of law, it would seem that our beloved island has transformed into our very own, free-to-watch John Wayne movie. Many see it as a time of crisis! In times of crises, it is natural for eyes to dart across the room to find a donkey on which to heave our burden of blame. But there is a very powerful body that often slides beneath the radar, undetected; that body is the Police Service Commission (PSC) and I believe that the PSC has not been held accountable for the speed bumps in our fight against crime.

In January 2017, the PSC announced that it is opening applications for a commissioner of police after then Commissioner Carl Williams decided to take early retirement. It is worth knowing as well that the commissioner before him also left on early retirement. Ms Novelette Grant, a 30-year veteran in the force, was overlooked by the PSC (for reasons the public may never know) and Mr Quallo was given the job as top cop. Fast forward a year later and rumours swirl that Quallo may also be leaving the job in a few months as his retirement draws near. In light of the crime crisis in which we find ourselves, and the need for a stable crime-fighting ship, are you telling me that Quallo's impending retirement was not at all considered in his selection? How could the PSC, after having the two previous commissioners leave on early retirement, not take this into account when appointing our fourth commissioner in just over three years?

I don't know about anybody else, but if I were driving in a country bus and see the driver being changed at every bus stop, I would become very anxious.

We must approach crime with a steady and stable hand, and the ship on which we sail must also be steady, if not, we risk giving criminals the impression that we are headless chickens. The PSC has a duty to ensure that isn't so, and in my estimation, they have dropped the ball.

Kemal Lindo