Don't bow to cops' pressure
The Editor, Sir:
Having read a report in your publication of April 14, titled, 'It's not about the money; police seek help from minister to quell dispute with high command', I am compelled to take serious issue with the report. The minister of national security is a political appointee and, as such, in law, cannot interfere in the administration of the police force. That is solely the purview of the police commissioner who the law charges with that responsibility.
The Jamaica Police Federation has not been an entity unto itself; its members are under the direction and control of the Commissioner of Police.
The question of a 40-hour work week for the force has been a long-standing dispute with past chairmen and members of the police federation started in the early 1970s. Past ministers of security have all given it their blessings but the Jamaica Constabulary Force being a para-military organisation and given its limited resources, the authorities have never found it practical to have that proposal fully implemented. What the government has done as an alternative measure was to grant a special allowance across the board to all police personnel irrespective of rank or status, as it is written that, technically, a policeman is never off duty.
They complain about promotion within the rank and file and dismissals. The commissioner of police has to ensure that persons who are promoted are the right ones with special emphasis on good leadership qualities and sound moral background.
Order and discipline
The police book of rules and regulations state that a member of the force can be dismissed for any act or conduct contrary to the good order and discipline of the force.
The police service is of fundamental importance to the public and cannot be allowed to fall into disrepute by a few misguided persons within the organisation.
I urge the police high command to stand firm and do not allow itself to be dictated to by any organisation within or out of the police force in the name of popularity, or else the consequences will be disastrous.
I am, etc.,