THE EDITOR, Sir:
This is an open letter to Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese from Police Commissioner Owen Ellington.
Dear Major Reese,
I feel a sense of urgency in publicly apologising to you and your department for any embarrassment caused by comments attributed to a police inspector attached to the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and carried in a Gleaner story on Sunday, September 22.
The Gleaner story, under a sensational headline, alleges, among other things, that ignorance on the part of customs officials was hindering the police's effort to combat certain types of organised crime.
While the caption given to the story grossly exaggerates the remarks attributed to the police inspector, it does not excuse the inappropriateness of remarks. Be assured that the Police High Command has already taken corrective action.
As a general rule, we do not make remarks about the operations within partner agencies that could be interpreted as critical of staff competencies, training or operational procedures. Our members know that this is our policy. We have worked long and hard to build partnerships on the basis of mutual respect and understanding, and we value all our partnerships.
Our working relationship with the Customs Department is a shining example of progressive institutional cooperation, manifested in our several joint agency operations and the regular participation of staff on training programmes organised by each agency, as well as those sponsored by our international partners, who often applaud our strong and effective working relationship in the fight to combat transnational organised crime.
As we move with alacrity to set the record straight on this unfortunate development, I recommit, on behalf of the police, our determination to strengthen our valuable and mutually respectful partnership.
Commissioner of Police