Police Federation chairman lashes FLA boss

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Police Federation chairman lashes FLA boss

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT
Senior staff reporter
hibbertk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, October 18, 2020

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CHAIRMAN of the Jamaica Police Federation, Detective Sergeant Patrae Rowe is accusing the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) CEO Shane Dalling of grasping at straws to justify the denials of firearms to police officers.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, Rowe said Dalling's claim that police officers are denied firearms due to domestic violence, is false.

“Shane Dalling spoke on radio and proclaimed to the Jamaican people that police officers were denied firearms because of domestic violence. That is not true. I think that he was trying to justify the complaint we had made to make it seem like they had probable cause to deny police officers firearm licences in large numbers,” Rowe told the Sunday Observer. “The majority of the denials have been that police have not justified the need for a firearm. That's what majority of the denials say. If it was a claim of domestic violence, I don't think that the reason would be that police officers have not justified the need.”

Rowe added that there is no overwhelming report within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to suggest that police are involved in high numbers of domestic abuse and asserted that if that were the case, there would have been a number of reports and internal interventions as there are policies in the JCF that govern such occurrences.

“It is quite curious to think that persons would complain to FLA over seeking to pursue criminal actions against our colleagues for domestic violence, unless the FLA CEO is confusing police officers with some other group. We are not denying there may be cases in the JCF where police officers, like any other man from any other group in this country, would have offended their spouse in that way. But the claim from the FLA CEO gives the country an impression that this action among police officers is so prominent that it leads to mass denials. So we are not saying it is not happening or has never happened, but the impression given by the FLA CEO that it is a prominent reason for denial is absolutely false.

“The JCF has an early intervention policy where we seek to examine instances where police officers use Government or private firearm in domestic situations, and intervene at the onset of any form of indication that the police officer is going through a period of distress that may escalate to violent use of firearm or the threat of the use of firearm. And we have intervened in those cases early to prevent any harm of spouses in those situations,” Rowe said.

Further, the police federation chairman pointed out that many times claims of domestic violence are allegations until proven true and, as a result, as in any other situation, police officers take due care not to act on such complaints without proper investigation.

He said: “Is it that FLA is saying that they act on an allegation without substantiating it or they act on an emotional response? The allegation about the use of firearm, as an act of revenge, is very prominent in relationship situations and as police officers, we have to take due care to ensure we do not act on malicious complaints. Is it that FLA is saying they do not exercise that level of due care?”

In addition, Rowe expressed disappointment in Dalling making a public declaration that a member of the JCF's firearm was revoked because of mental issues, when there has been no psychological report on the state of the member's health.

Rowe said the matter is before the court and it is for the court to make a declaration as to the member's psychological fitness to hold a firearm thus subsequently, Dalling's declaration is irresponsible.

Meanwhile, Rowe said since he has expressed concerns about the denials of firearm licences to police officers, the FLA CEO has taken personal issue with it to the point he is no longer accepting his calls or responding to his messages.

When the Observer contacted Dalling for a response, he declined to comment.


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