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'I wasn't fired' - Police commissioner denies being ejected

Published:Monday | January 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

The tenure of Commissioner of Police George Quallo could be hanging in the balance despite him refuting reports circulating in the media that he is being pressured to resign.

News began making the rounds that Quallo is to hand in his resignation letter, following a meeting yesterday morning with National Security Minister Robert Montague to discuss the the rampant murder rate.

The bungling of traffic-management arrangements, which allowed for rowdy patrons attending a party on the Palisadoes strip to cut off access to the Norman Manley International Airport for several hours on New Year's Day, resulting in several passengers missing their flights, was also discussed.

But Quallo was adamant that he was not being forced to resign the job he has held since last April.

"I did not resign. You can quote me on that," Quallo told The Gleaner, responding to the reports from earlier in the day.

Asked whether he was fired, Quallo replied: "I was not fired."

The Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) issued a statement yesterday saying that Quallo, whose career in the JCF spans 41 years, reaffirms his commitment to the people of Jamaica. It said that he asserted that he will continue to lead the men and women of the force in fulfilling their primary responsibility to serve, protect and reassure.

When asked by The Gleaner if Montague was being disrespectful to him over the handling of the Palisadoes fiasco, which prompted a letter to the Government from the Police Officers Association (POA), Quallo said it was left to the people of Jamaica to make that determination.

"The POA spoke as to what they believe; I reserve my comment. And I ask Jamaicans to be the judge as to whether or not they believe the commissioner of police is being disrespected," he said.