Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Garth Rattray | What will George Quallo do?

Published:Sunday | April 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM

It just so happens that I know our new commissioner of police, George Quallo, very well. He is from a very humble, disciplined, and tightly knit family from rural St Andrew. He grew up in a church environment that imbued him with admirable values. Because of his formative years and the influence of religion, he has always been extraordinarily efficient, deeply caring, hard-working, imaginative, innovative, above reproach, discrete, strict, fair, and approachable by everyone (police of all ranks and citizens from all strata of society).

George Quallo was never just a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. He was always an ardent practitioner of police service. He has gone into the trenches with his men, taken risks with them, and lobbied for them. He has entered troubled communities, not just as a law enforcer, but also as a peacemaker, mediator, and an empathic councillor.

George Quallo is one of those people who has given all of himself to his job. He sets high standards for himself and then works assiduously to surpass them. His life has been one of total sacrifice so that the citizens of Jamaica can be safe and happy. No task has ever been too much to ask of him. He has earned the reputation as someone who has always represented the antithesis of corruption. He has quietly and efficiently worked throughout this island and gained the confidence and respect of everyone who knows him.

Since his appointment as commissioner of police, innumerable 'security experts', past Jamaica Constabulary Force members, business stalwarts, and concerned citizens have been voicing their ideas about what he should do. They say that the new commissioner should do this, that, and the other. The new commissioner must focus on this, that, and then the other.

Police work and the practice of medicine are very similar. Crime represents a diseased society. The police carry out community work to educate citizens about crime; doctors educate patients about various diseases. The police seek to minimise the risk of criminal activities with social work and patrols while doctors reduce disease risks with screening and healthy-living advice.

In the event that a crime does occur, the police must get statements from victims, witnesses, and/or from people who are aware of how situations transpired. If someone becomes ill, doctors must seek a history from the patient, or relatives, or from people who observed what took place. The next step in police work is to acquire evidence. That is also the next step in the practice of good medicine. Both the police and doctors do their investigations.




What follows is the diagnosis and intervention phase - the police do arrests and the doctors carry out treatment regimes. Sometimes things still go horribly wrong and the police saturate the crime scene or community to prevent further problems. So, too, doctors must give palliative treatment to ease further suffering.

If, after much consideration, someone puts a top physician in charge of his/her health or in charge of the heath care of a loved one, it is unimaginable for that top doctor to be told, " should do this, that, and the other. ..." I, therefore, find it remarkable for there to be this deluge of advice for the new commissioner of police.

This is our top cop, a man with over four decades of experience and an expert at what he does. This is a well-trained individual who has dedicated his entire life to only one thing: being an exemplary policeman. This is a gatherer and collator of valuable information and a strategist who knows how to control crime.

So, what will George Quallo do? George Quallo will continue performing to the very best of his ability. He will continue to lead by example and give everything that he's got. He can deliver the results that we crave. All he needs is a free hand, the tools to do his job, and cooperation from government ministries/agencies, the private sector, and all well-thinking Jamaicans.

One of his strong points is his ability to rally the support of everyone. The fight against crime requires all hands on board; no single human being can battle this monstrous disease. All citizens need to cooperate to build a peaceful and progressive Jamaica.

- Garth A. Rattray is a medical doctor with a family practice. Email feedback to and