Glenroy Sinclair, Staff Reporter
CHAIRMAN OF the Police Service Commission, Noel Hylton, confirmed yesterday that senior Scotland Yard detective, Mark Shields, is the British police officer who will be seconded to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), effective March 1.
"We have already completed the interview with him, what we are waiting on now is his letter of acceptance," Mr. Hylton told The Gleaner this week.
He said the Police Service Commission is in the process of scheduling three other interviews to screen at least three more senior officers from the London Metropolitan Police Force.
Reports are that Mr. Shields will be enlisted as a Deputy Commissioner, acting in a supernumerary position. Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas in his first press conference, had confirmed that the British police officer would be joining the JCF as a DCP, but not as the officer in charge of crime.
"I would not want to be the one to block the upward mobility in the JCF," Commissioner Thomas told journals two weeks ago.
Mr. Shields is one of the most experienced Scotland Yard Detectives; he is at present a chief superintendent, a rank which is equivalent to that of a senior superintendent in the JCF.
TO LEAD CRIME FIGHTBACK
According to a British newspaper, The Guardian, Mr. Shields joins the JCF to lead a fightback against the crime and violence disfiguring the island. It described his appointment as a signal towards much closer cooperation between British and Jamaican police officers, who are 4,000 miles apart but nevertheless face the same problems of gang and drug violence, often involving the same individuals.
The news report further stated that whereas British officers have previously been deployed to the Caribbean as advisers and to assist in specific investigations, Mr Shields, a serious and organised crime central task force detective, will be given a formal position and will have Jamaican officers under his command.
National Security Minister Peter Phillips told reporters last week that as part of a commitment, the Metropolitan Police Force have agreed to support the attachment of British officers to the JCF in operational capabilities.