Laser Focus Needed To Root Out Corruption From Gazetted Ranks Of Police Force

 

 

The stories are far too many, far too complex to be documented, yet the allegations of bullying and abuse by the gazetted ranks of the (JCF) form an integral part of the reasons that the Jamaica Constabulary Force(JCF) is having a difficult time attracting quality recruits and an even more difficult time retaining those it has trained.

More importantly is the stubborn and intransigent cancer of corruption which the majority of  Jamaicans are led to believe is centered at the level of the cop on the street who shakes down motorists over some traffic infraction.
Literally, every person who ever passed through the (JCF) has a distasteful story to tell about the bullying, sometimes illegal tactics of the gazetted ranks toward subordinate members of the department.
This does not mean that all of the men and women who ever attained the rank of Assistant Superintendent to Commissioner of Police have all been corrupt bullies. However, for the most part, it does seem that to a certain extent those criteria are requirements for upward mobility.

The pivotal space between the Rank and file and the gazetted ranks is the rank of Inspector. It is generally understood that Inspectors expect that they are next in line to be promoted to the gazetted Rank and so even though they are considered rank-and-file they are a considered a disaster to the men and women whom they supervise.
This writer has had my run-ins with several members of the gazetted ranks, as a result, I decided rather early that under no circumstances would I allow this corrupt incompetent system to decide my future.
Life is simply too precious and too short for that.

If I have written one article I must have written a dozen in which I talked about the corruption of the hierarchy of the police department, a sad indictment which is, unfortunately, tarnishing the men and women of the lower ranks who risk their lives to protect the country.
For the most part, it is the senior ranks of the police departments who send their juniors to cover private jobs while theY collect large sums of money from private entities and the constables and corporals see not a red cent.

Senior police officers embarrass their junior colleagues by reprimanding their colleagues in front of their civilian friends, usually for daring to do their jobs the correct way. Of course, junior members of the force are transferred at the whim of commanders who are doing the bidding of their civilian friends who run afoul of the law and are held to account by lower ranked officers.
This writer was not immune from that kind of collusion between DCP Ebanks and member of Parliament Carl Samuda.
My crime was making damn sure that criminals did not operate in my sphere of responsibility when I was stationed at the Constant Spring Police Station. My Transfer was not my only dust-up with members of the gazetted big-foot brigade.
One SSP Cowan, a female Inspector whose name eludes me now, as well as Superintendent Brooks are just a few who tried to bully me but found out rather quickly that- that was not such a good idea.
Nevertheless, my attitude when transferred was that regardless of where they sent me I would be doing police work. I never emotionally tethered myself to any branch or station. Wherever they sent me I would be doing police work so they really had precious little power over me for the 91/2 years of my service.

The challenges facing the police in the streets are exponentially and unduly increased by the stress placed on them by their seniors.
To a certain extent, many from the rank of Assistant Superintendent upward would like to pretend that they are not police officers. They are quick to hog the limelight and the praise but are nowhere to be found when it comes to being accountable.

 

MAKING THE ROUNDS

Constabulary Station 


Montego Bay Police 


St. James 


May 31, 2018 

Sub-Officer i/c Traffic 

Re: Incident that occurred on Friday May 25, 2018 at the Montego Bay Police 
Station about 11:00am involving Senior Superintendent of Police W. Campbell 
commander in charge of St. James, Inspector A. Thompson Sub Officer in charge of 
Traffic St. James, #10680 W/Sgt K. Griffiths Sub Officer in charge of Training 
St. James, #16349 Constable C. Thompson, Erroy Gordon driver of the motor 
vehicle and a man I only know as the owner of the motor vehicle 

On Friday May 25, 2018 about 11:00 am, I was summoned to a meeting 
with the commander in charge of St. James. Present in the meeting at the time 
was Inspector A. Thompson and W/ Sgt K. Griffiths. I paid my compliment to the 
commander in charge and properly introduced myself to him. 

He started the meeting by informing me I wasn’t on trial so I 
needed not to worry. He then asked me to give an account of an incident that 
took place on the previous day to which I complied. He then asked me which act 
gave me the power to issue that ticket. I then explained to him that the driver 
had committed an offence under the road traffic act and I prosecuted the driver 
accordingly. 

He then asked me to read a document signed by the Senior 
Superintendent of Police in charge of traffic at the time dated June 10, 2004 
which speaks to seizure of vehicles being moved from the Wharves by the Police. 
See attachment of document labelled appendix 1. He then again asked me after I 
read the document what gave me the power to ticket the motorist. I then again 
explained to him section 10.1 of the Road Traffic Act which states “a motor 
vehicle shall not be used on the road unless there has been issued in respect of 
the vehicle, and prior to the licensing of the vehicle, by a Traffic Area 
Authority, a certificate (in this Act referred to as a certificate of fitness) 
that the prescribed conditions as to fitness are fulfilled in respect of the 
vehicles, and such certificate is in force in respect of the vehicle”. At this 
point, Inspector A. Thompson said to the commander in charge that technically I 
was right to prosecute the motorist. The commander then turned to Inspector A. 
Thompson and said I cannot be technically right, its either I am right or wrong 
and I am wrong to have issued a ticket to the motorist. 

I then observed the commander in charge going on his phone talking 
to someone. I heard him asking if they had reached and should come straight up 
to his office. About a minute after while still in the meeting, I heard a knock 
on the door and two males entered. One I could identify as the driver of the 
motor vehicle which I prosecuted and a man not known to me at the time but later 
identified himself as the owner of the motor vehicle. 

At the point, the commander in charge then invited both men to have 
a seat and the driver should give an account of what happened. The driver then 
began to give his account of what took place. Half way through his account of 
what happened the commander asked him to stop and said in the presence of 
everyone in the meeting that clearly I was wrong to issue such a ticket and if 
both men were to contest the ticket in court, the Jamaica Constabulary Force 
would be embarrassed. He further went on to apologize to both men on my behalf 
for my actions. He then turned to me and stated that I had damaged the 
relationship between the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Cars To Go Limited. 
Shortly after, I heard the commander in charge asked both men for the copy of 
the ticket I had issued to the driver to which I observed the driver handing the 
ticket to the commander in charge. The commander then turned to me and 
instructed me to hand over the copies I had in my ticket book to which I 
complied by handing them to him. However I am still in the possession of the 
police copy which will be attached to this report labelled appendix 2. I then 
observed the commander handing all four copies of the ticket to Inspector A. 
Thompson stating he should take care of them. Everything was done in the 
presence of everyone in the meeting. The commander in charge then thanked the 
men for attending the meeting and they left. 

The commander then turned to me and said that this was the same reason 
why the document labelled Appendix 1 was drafted because police always make up 
offences and try extort motorist and the only difference with me was that I 
didn’t ask the man for money he further states that he wasn’t even sure if I 
didn’t asked because he never remembered to ask the driver. I then said to him I 
have no intentions of extorting anyone and he should have asked to which he 
replied by saying that was good. 

The commander then turned to Inspector A. Thompson and myself and said 
I should be taken off frontline duties, I should start attend probationers 
lecture for a three months period every Tuesdays and Thursdays, I should be 
transferred to Cells for a three months period and a report shall be drafted up 
from both the sub officer in charge of training and cells after these periods 
has elapsed about my conduct. He then ended the meeting. 

His actions whilst in the meeting left me feeling embarrassed in the presence of 
my sub officer in charge, training officer and that of the civilians and I feel 
I am being punished for the lawful execution of my duties. 

Due to his actions I strongly recommend a transfer from this 
division because I’m not comfortable under the leadership of this commander 
since I have lost confidence in his ability to lead. 

Submitted for your information and appropriate actions. 
Constabulary Station 
 
                                                                                                                                                     
Montego Bay Police 
 
                                                                                                                                  
St. James 
 
                                                                                                                                         
May 31, 2018 
 
Sub-Officer i/c Traffic 
 
Re: Incident that occurred on Friday May 25, 2018 at the Montego Bay Police 
Station about 11:00am involving Senior Superintendent of Police W. Campbell 
commander in charge of St. James, Inspector A. Thompson Sub Officer in charge of 
Traffic St. James, #10680   W/Sgt K. Griffiths Sub Officer in charge of Training 
St. James, #16349 Constable C. Thompson, Erroy Gordon driver of the motor 
vehicle and a man I only know as the owner of the motor vehicle 
 
              On Friday May 25, 2018 about 11:00 am, I was summoned to a meeting 
with the commander in charge of St. James. Present in the meeting at the time 
was Inspector A. Thompson and W/ Sgt K. Griffiths. I paid my compliment to the 
commander in charge and properly introduced myself to him. 
 
               He started the meeting by informing me I wasn’t on trial so I 
needed not to worry. He then asked me to give an account of an incident that 
took place on the previous day to which I complied. He then asked me which act 
gave me the power to issue that ticket. I then explained to him that the driver 
had committed an offence under the road traffic act and I prosecuted the driver 
accordingly. 
 
            He then asked me to read a document signed by the Senior 
Superintendent of Police in charge of traffic at the time dated June 10, 2004 
which speaks to seizure of vehicles being moved from the Wharves by the Police. 
See attachment of document labelled appendix 1. He then again asked me after I 
read the document what gave me the power to ticket the motorist. I then again 
explained to him section 10.1 of the Road Traffic Act which states “a motor 
vehicle shall not be used on the road unless there has been issued in respect of 
the vehicle, and prior to the licensing of the vehicle, by a Traffic Area 
Authority, a certificate (in this Act referred to as a certificate of fitness) 
that the prescribed conditions as to fitness are fulfilled in respect of the 
vehicles, and such certificate is in force in respect of the vehicle”. At this 
point, Inspector A. Thompson said to the commander in charge that technically I 
was right to prosecute the motorist. The commander then turned to Inspector A. 
Thompson and said I cannot be technically right, its either I am right or wrong 
and I am wrong to have issued a ticket to the motorist. 
 
             I then observed the commander in charge going on his phone talking 
to someone. I heard him asking if they had reached and should come straight up 
to his office. About a minute after while still in the meeting, I heard a knock 
on the door and two males entered. One I could identify as the driver of the 
motor vehicle which I prosecuted and a man not known to me at the time but later 
identified himself as the owner of the motor vehicle. 
 
            At the point, the commander in charge then invited both men to have 
a seat and the driver should give an account of what happened. The driver then 
began to give his account of what took place. Half way through his account of 
what happened the commander asked him to stop and said in the presence of 
everyone in the meeting that clearly I was wrong to issue such a ticket and if 
both men were to contest the ticket in court, the Jamaica Constabulary Force 
would be embarrassed. He further went on to apologize to both men on my behalf 
for my actions. He then turned to me and stated that I had damaged the 
relationship between the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Cars To Go Limited. 
Shortly after, I heard the commander in charge asked both men for the copy of 
the ticket I had issued to the driver to which I observed the driver handing the 
ticket to the commander in charge. The commander then turned to me and 
instructed me to hand over the copies I had in my ticket book to which I 
complied by handing them to him. However I am still in the possession of the 
police copy which will be attached to this report labelled appendix 2. I then 
observed the commander handing all four copies of the ticket to Inspector A. 
Thompson stating he should take care of them. Everything was done in the 
presence of everyone in the meeting. The commander in charge then thanked the 
men for attending the meeting and they left. 
 
         The commander then turned to me and said that this was the same reason 
why the document labelled Appendix 1 was drafted because police always make up 
offences and try extort motorist and the only difference with me was that I 
didn’t ask the man for money he further states that he wasn’t even sure if I 
didn’t asked because he never remembered to ask the driver. I then said to him I 
have no intentions of extorting anyone and he should have asked to which he 
replied by saying that was good. 
 
         The commander then turned to Inspector A. Thompson and myself and said 
I should be taken off frontline duties, I should start attend probationers 
lecture for a three months period every Tuesdays and Thursdays, I should be 
transferred to Cells for a three months period and a report shall be drafted up 
from both the sub officer in charge of training and cells after these periods 
has elapsed about my conduct. He then ended the meeting. 
 
His actions whilst in the meeting left me feeling embarrassed in the presence of 
my sub officer in charge, training officer and that of the civilians and I feel 
I am being punished for the lawful execution of my duties. 
 
            Due to his actions I strongly recommend a transfer from this 
division because I’m not comfortable under the leadership of this commander 
since I have lost confidence in his ability to lead. 
 
Submitted for your information and appropriate actions.

……………………………………………………………………………………..

I do not have all the facts and as such I will withhold judgment until this matter is fully investigated. We understand that the Police Federation is highly incensed about this incident and correctly so.
In the meantime, the Commissioner of Police should get up off his backside, (no more learning on the job) and figure out the facts of what occurred and if this is true as outlined by this officer that senior officer should be made to find work at the car mart.

At the very least, regardless of what comes out of whatever investigations will be done in this matter, the SSP has done an egregious wrong to his subordinate.
The question is not whether the ticket is valid, that is a matter for the courts to decide not for the SSP to decide.
Police officers issue citations all across the globe every day. Some are thrown out some are upheld,that’s how it works. It is for the administrative authority to decide the validity of the allegations based on existing law, not the police hierarchy.
(1)The SSP had no legal or administrative authority to convene a meeting in his office with representatives of the company to which the ticket was issued.
(2) The SSP had no right to subject the constable to be in that illicit meeting.
(3) The SSP had no right to embarrass his subordinate in front of civilians against whom he had issued a ticket.
(4) The SSP had no authority to penalize the constable even if the ticket issued had no standing in law. (A competent leader would have apprised his subordinate on the law in a respectful and nurturing manner)
(5) The SSP had no legal authority to punish the constable in this matter.
(6) The SSP is wrong,(even if the ticket was unwarranted)  clearly, he has vested unscrupulous ties to the car-mart.
(7) The SSP had no legal authority to alter, damage, or destroy the ticket or the ticket book, to exonerate his accomplices. (see former [SP] James Forbs).

This Article has been updated.


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