Stop interdicting police officers at quarter pay, Dwight Moore saysSunday, October 24, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica- The practice/policy of interdiction which is paying police personnel a fraction of their pay when they are removed from frontline duty while an infraction against them is being investigated, should be discontinued according to businessman Dwight Moore.
“The matter of policemen being suspended without pay, or part pay is a gross injustice when they’re now going to face legal fees, they’re still going to have families to feed, mortgages to pay and they’re now going to be destitute,” Moore argued while speaking with OBSERVER ONLINE.
“Who’s that policeman going to turn to now?" he asked, before suggesting that police personnel who find themselves in such positions could be tempted to turn to the underworld.
“Isn’t he going to turn to the area don to offer his services or for help because he’s now destitute and abandoned by the state that he was serving?” Moore said.
He said care should be taken to ensure that families are not disrupted as a result of the breadwinner being placed on interdiction.
"What happens to that family structure? How does that policeman fend for himself?" he continued.
Moore also raised the possibility that in such situations an interdicted cop could turn to a private security firm to earn a living and, ironically, end up being the security officer for a government official as a close protection officer.
He argued that members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force [JCF] “should not be suspended for just PR [public relations] purposes”.
"If we do that then we’re sending the wrong message to police officers new and old. They are on the frontline of our peace of mind so we can’t just discard them in that way. We can’t do that," he insisted.
Meanwhile, Moore is making the argument for some retired crime fighters to be reengaged by the JCF to aid in the crime fight.
“We are talking about all hands on deck. We have to reengage [Assistant Commissioner of Police] Garnett Daley, a [Senior Superintendent of Police] Cornwall ‘Bigga’ Ford. We need to ask ourselves ‘what do these men still have to contribute?” Moore said.
Some senior officers have in the past offered their services but it is not generally known if they have been utilised and in what capacity.
If Moore had his way, these men and women would be relied on for their knowledge.
“They know the inner-city communities, they have built relationships in the space so they are at an advantage, they are mentors, they are experienced, they are the so-called experts. They have the intellectual property so you should not ignore them,” said Moore.
He noted that if the individuals were to go into private practice they would likely earn significantly more than when they were in the constabulary.
“By keeping them engaged, they are actually keeping a valuable resource available to the nation. Because if it is that some crime family is to hire the services of some of our best experts just imagine the kind of havoc they could create”.
This, Moore said, was a reality as many ex-cops may not have secured enough of a pension and as such their service may be available to the highest bidder.
“You cannot retire a 60-year-old or a 65-year-old man for him to just now drive up and down or just sit down and play dominoes when he was an active crime fighter,” he declared.
In the meantime, Moore is also advocating for police officers who do not have private firearms to be allowed to take home their service weapons in light of the country’s high crime environment.
He argued that unless there are red flags that would prevent a serving member from having a firearm he sees no reason as to why the member can be trusted to have a firearm while on duty but not while at home.