Tracking Ellington, From office suites to the streets
Published: Sunday | November 15, 2009
In his first full work week in office, acting Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington has juggled high-level meetings at his office with street-side meetings with the men and women under his command.
"I am between the meetings and the presence on the street with the people," Ellington told The Sunday Gleaner during a review of his first week as acting head of the police force.
"I've been on the road a bit of the time. I've been to quite a number of the divisions because I'm keen on meeting with people at the level where they perform in the streets, in the alleys, and I've been doing quite a bit of that as well."
When asked how many high-level meetings he had been engaged in since taking office, the 30-year JCF veteran quipped: "Can't count."
On his first day in the force's hot seat, Ellington faced one of two major ghosts haunting the Jamaica Constabulary Force: claims of extra-judicial killings.
However, last Tuesday, the Bureau of Special Investigations was to present Ellington with preliminary reports on the police's fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Kingston 10 on Saturday night of November 7, and the fatal shooting of Teroy Bonner in Kitson Town, St Catherine, last week Sunday.
Ellington took a break from his schedule on Friday to talk with our news team. At this juncture, not even Ellington knows the duration of his acting stint. Or, so he tells us.
But, what is the hardest issue he has faced so far? He said that task has not reported for duty. "It hasn't come up as yet," he said.
"It's all about meeting with the staff, agreeing with some management decisions; getting them across. Most of those have gone through without any obstacles. Everybody is willing to make their contribution," Ellington added.
He spoke to the importance of communication with his staff: "The first thing you do when you take over a job like this is communicate, because there is hardly anything else you can accomplish in short order. You communicate with the key people and whatever decisions there are, you make sure that there is support from all quarters. It is not a one-man show."
Even with his demanding job, however, acting top cop says he still finds time for his family.
"I still manage my time and share it between work and life. Everything is good," he said.
However, Ellington refused to reveal his hand as it relates to his interest in being officially proclaimed commissioner of police.
"Nowhere near that bridge yet. I haven't even given it a thought."
Ellington, or nobody else for that matter, can officially apply for the job because the top-cop post is yet to be publicly advertised. Nonetheless, the man standing in the stead says he has "no idea" if he would apply when the time comes.
Ellington believes the high-level meetings have been fruitful, as some operational changes have been made. "(It has) much to do with rationalisation of resources around the Corporate Area; the evolution of highway patrols to the divisions.
"We have taken a decision that every operable police vehicle should be out on patrol during a period which we regard as the crime band, and that is supported."