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JAMAICA | Police Commissioner says he has not resigned

Featured Police Commissioner George Quallo (left) and National Security Minister Robert Montague. Police Commissioner George Quallo (left) and National Security Minister Robert Montague.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, January 8, 2018 - Police Commissioner George Quallo today met with Minister of National Security Robert Montague, after being summarily summoned by the Minister to discuss the circumstances surrounding last Monday's activities on the Palisadoes strip in Kingston, that resulted in a huge traffic pile-up.

Its understood that the meeting which took place at the minister's Oxford Road office in St Andrew began shortly after 9:00am lasted for apromixately fifteen minutes.

Its further understood that  in the meeting, the Police Commissioner was asked to resign but refused to do so.

Quallo was accompanied to the meeting by members of the Executive of the Police Officers' Association (POA).

The Officers insist that they are fully behind the Commissioner, and will not see the Office of the Commissioner rediculed and disrespected by the Minister.

After leaving there he went to the Police Service Commission which is the oversight body put in place by Parliament.

President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica Howard Mitchell has called on the Minister to clarify his position on the Commissioner's tenure, while the Opposition spokesman on National Security Fitz Jackson wants the intervention of the Prime Minister into the matter as Minister Montague no longer enjoyed the confidence of the rank and file men and women of the Police Force.

Montague last Friday, summoned Quallo to a meeting after he received a preliminary report into the circumstances surrounding last Monday's activities that resulted in the traffic pile-up on the Palisadoes strip in Kingston.

According to Montague, the  preliminary report from Quallo did not meet the standards that the Jamaican public has come to expect from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

In fact, the national security minister rejected the report saying it was inadequate, as it did not address the questions raised.

Montague further expressed that as minister, he could not accept the report as it is not reflective of the hard work of the men and women who protect Jamaica daily.

On Friday, Quallo sent Montaque an updated reporty on the incident.

The Police Officers Association in a sharpe response to the Minister, said  the body  which represents police officers from the rank of Assistant Superintendent and upwards islandwide, accused the minister of directly interfering in the operations portfolio of the Commissioner of Police, and said it was concerned about the serious distractions from the management of major crime in recent times.

In the meantime, the Jamaica Police Federation says it is “eagerly” anticipating the outcome of the Cabinet meeting in which wage negotiations between the government and public sector works will be discussed.

In responding to the Federation last Monday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, said  the matter would be taken to today's Cabinet meeting where the matter would have been discussed.

Holness said while he understands and appreciates the challenges, personal sacrifice and ultimate danger with which law enforcement officers must contend, “there has to be consideration for the “delicate” state and stage of Jamaica's economic recovery and that present action will determine whether or not Jamaica stays on the course to recovery. It is in our collective interest to ensure that Jamaica stays on the right track.”

General Secretary of the Federation, Sergeant Cecil McCalla however urged the Government to be creative in their thinking and formulate solutions that will improve the income of the hardworking men and women of the JCF.

“We must reiterate our stance that the welfare of our rank and file members is our first priority,' said McCalla, noting that Federation wants to bring a timely and amicable closure to these negotiations.

Last month the federation rejected government's offer of four per cent increase in year one, and two per cent in year two as “unacceptable”, after several rounds of talks with the finance ministry.

This resulted in approximately 2,730 rank-and-file members calling in sick.

Last modified onMonday, 08 January 2018 18:14
  • Countries: Jamaica