Wed | Feb 21, 2018

Police Traffic Division operational head could face disciplinary action

Published:Wednesday | January 10, 2018 | 12:15 PM
Superintendent Coubrie has said his department was not notified of the event and so did not provide the usual support as would be required for an event of that size.

Head of Operations in the Police Traffic and Highway Division, Superintendent Courtney Coubrie, could face disciplinary action following an investigation into the cause of the traffic gridlock on the Palisadoes Road in east Kingston.

In his six-page report to National Security Minister Robert Montague, Police Commissioner George Quallo said police personnel, motorcycles, and cars were deployed from the Traffic and Highway Division to assist with traffic management for the Sandz party on New Year's Day.

However, haphazard parking along the roadway by patrons attending the event triggered a gridlock for several hours, which caused scores of travellers to miss their flights, as well as delays to a number of flights at the nearby Norman Manley International Airport.

However, Superintendent Coubrie has said his department was not notified of the event and so did not provide the usual support as would be required for an event of that size.

Commissioner Quallo says Superintendent Coubrie will be written to for him to explain how personnel, motorcycles, and cars could have been deployed without his knowledge.

The police commissioner says if the superintendent does not provide a satisfactory response he will be referred to the Police Services Commission for disciplinary action.

In the meantime, Quallo has blamed poor management and supervision on the part of the commander for the East Kingston Police, Superintendent Robert Walker, for the breakdown that resulted in the traffic block.

He also pointed to a discrepancy in the time given by the promoter for the start of the event and the actual time the event started as one of the reasons for the traffic gridlock.

The police commissioner says the promoter had indicated to the police that the event would have started at 5 o'clock in the afternoon but when police personnel arrived at the venue at 2:45, it had already been in full swing and the traffic pile-up was evident.

The report from the police commissioner follows a request by the security minister for him to explain the cause of the traffic fiasco.