Jackson: Give us reasons for reassigning senior cops

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, July 15, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James – Opposition security spokesman Fitz Jackson says the failure of the Police High Command to provide reasons for the recent reassignment of police officers could be seen by the public as punishment for ineffectiveness.

At the beginning of this month the Police High Command announced that several divisions will be headed by new commanders, following the reassignment of eight of the force's gazetted officers.

However, it is not unusual for the officers to be reassigned as the management of the constabulary seeks to maximise the effectiveness of its human resources.

Said Jackson: “I have always been concerned about this (reassignment) because there are basically two schools of thought about reassignment. One is, reassigned because you want their expertise to come to bear on other areas, or reassigned because they are not performing efficiently or effectively,” Jackson argued.

“But oftentimes when some of these things are not spoken to, the public is left to come to their own conclusions. And being a cynical society that we are, in a large part, that is unfortunately the convenient angle to hold on to — which might not necessarily be correct.”

He was speaking at the Police Officers' Association (POA) annual general meeting, held under the theme 'Empowerment through leadership', at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach hotel in St James on Friday.

In response to Jackson, Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson, in delivering the keynote address at the conference, said, “Things appear strange when they are not always done that way (giving reasons for transfers). So, if movement in broadening people's experience was a normal thing, then when it happens it wouldn't be seen in a particular light because that's how it works. So, we have to look at that,” the police commissioner stated.

He added: “But keep in mind that there is a certain benefit and experience that you gain by becoming an expert in your area.”

Jackson also expressed the need for transparency in the promotion of members of the force.

“It is critical that matters of promotion is dealt with in a very transparent way, meaning the basis on which they are done can be examined, accessed, and stand scrutiny — and at the same time there must be equity in that process,” Jackson argued.

“I am also mindful, commissioner, that the whole issue of promotions amongst this group is a very touchy one. And I raise it here because I am aware of the sensitivities that are involved in attempting to deal with it an intra-organisational way,” he said.

Superintendent Wayne Cameron was elected as the new chairman of the POA, replacing Superintendent Catherine Lord.


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