Tue | Jun 15, 2021

Church leader defends police commissioner

Published:Sunday | November 24, 2013 | 5:57 PM

Daviot Kelly, Staff Reporter



Police Commissioner Owen Ellington is getting support from sections of the church community to continue as head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).




Addressing congregants at today's JCF 146th annual commemorative and memorial service at the East Queen Street Baptist Church in Kingston, Rev Dr Roy Henry chastised those calling for his resignation.



Henry says people should not "sit in their comfort zones" and criticise the commissioner. He says all Jamaicans must put their lives on the line to save the country and that those quick to criticise the police should take their place on the front line.



Human rights lobby group, Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), has been calling for the resignation of the commissioner, pointing to his failure to control the upsurge in murders and the high level of police killings this year. The lobby group says he has presided over the highest cumulative rate of police fatal shootings ever seen in Jamaica.



About 215 people have been killed by the police since the start of the year and 1100 people murdered to date.



Reflecting on National Security Minister Peter Bunting's call for divine intervention earlier this year to curb the country's crime problem , Henry says the country has no future without God.



He says new measures of policing need to be implemented and that the police's investigative capacity needs to be improved. However, he says for the country to strengthen these areas, it needs to build better relationships with communities and improve trust.



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