Police Federation wants head of oversight authority to resign

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Police Federation is calling for the resignation of Head of the Police Civilian Oversight Authority, Professor Anthony Harriott over what it says are “erroneous and disparaging comments made against the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) members.''

The Police Federation said the comments were made in an article in the Jamaica Gleaner: “Chop MOCA from toxic JCF,” on Monday January 29.

In that article, Professor Harriott asserted that the JCF is toxic, and "the occupational culture of the police force is one where you take the car and you go off and drink rum and do no investigation”.

The federation argued that statements such as these only serve to further marginalise and demoralise the already overburdened members of the constabulary.

“It is alarming that an entity such as the PCOA that was established to assist in the transformation of the Jamaica Constabulary Force into a professional, disciplined and service-oriented police service has made such spurious claims against its members without articulating one credible source of data to substantiate his claim,” said Chairman of the Police Federation, Sergeant Cecil McCalla, in a release today.

McCalla also noted that the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) has about 87 per cent of its staff being police officers.

He said that the Police Federation is “disgusted” with the comments of Professor Harriott and is therefore calling upon him to retract his statements and apologise immediately “to the numerous hardworking men and women of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who continue to sacrifice their limbs and ultimately their lives in pursuant of a safer Jamaica”.

McCalla further added that the rank-and-file cohort and by extension the entire Jamaica Constabulary Force and its auxiliaries view the comments as "egregious, lacks merit and will only erode the cordial working relationship that exists with the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Police Civilian Oversight Authority and its head Professor Anthony Harriott".

McCalla pointed out that since the article was published Professor Harriott had ample time to retract or clarify his statement.

“Neither of which he has done, therefore the Police Federation is demanding that Professor Harriott does the honourable thing and resign as Chairman of the Police Civilian Oversight Authority with immediate effect.”

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