News

Police commissioner gets warm welcome downtown

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 24, 2014    

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YOU got the feeling that a rock star was in town.

Vendors, shoppers and business owners reacted with glee as Police Commissioner Owen Ellington and some of his officers walked downtown Kingston's busy streets last Thursday.

"Big up yuself, me boss. Mi feel safer from mi see you," shouted one vendor, who halted his activities near Coronation Market to shake the commissioner's hand.

"A who dat? Nuh di man who me see pon TV every day. A wha him a do down here so?" one vendor was overheard asking her colleague.

"Nuh di big policeman Owen Ellington; it good to see that him come out an' a visit the area," said another woman.

One young female vendor rushed from her spot on a sidewalk to shake Ellington's hand and have a word with him.

Others walked with him for some distance, sharing their daily experiences on the streets.

Still others wanted to take pictures with the commissioner, while a few youngsters engaged him in a long discussion.

The tour, according to members of the police high command, was to provide reassurance to Jamaicans as they went about their daily business in the commercial hub and surrounding areas where criminals have, in the past, tried to drive fear in the hearts of law-abiding citizens.

The police also said the walk-through represented the latest efforts by the constabulary to engage members of the public on a greater level.

The top cop also used the tour to meet with members of the constabulary on beat patrol.

"It is always good as a leader to see things through your own eyes so that when you are discussing the problems and talking to people on the front line you can actually relate in a more particular way to some of the things they are saying to you," said the police commissioner.

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