Fri | Mar 5, 2021

Let people elect police commissioner

Published:Monday | January 29, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Police Commissioner George Quallo has decided to lay down his heavy burden just nine months after having ascended to the post of top cop. This somewhat sudden departure and particularly short stint have again resulted in the position of chief constable becoming vacant for the sixth time in 13 years.

With his departure, Mr Quallo has, inadvertently, one would think, turned the spotlight on the role of the Police Service Commission (PSC) and its sitting members. This commission, comprising unelected members, is the chief body tasked with the interview and selection of police commissioners. As such, the PSC should be held accountable for the decisions made.

With recent developments, perhaps it is time that we explore a fulsome reform of our national security infrastructure, including whether to subject the selection of police commissioners by the ballot. If commissioners are selected by means of a national election, top cops would be accountable directly to the people, the majority of whom now live in fear.

Another layer of reform could also see commissioners being given greater roles in setting budgets and operational priorities, further insulating them from political masters.