National Security Minister Robert Montague has rejected the report submitted to him by Police Commissioner George Quallo.
Montaque had demanded a full report from the police on the circumstances surrounding the traffic pileup on new years day, on the sole road which leads into the Norman Manley International airport.
According to published reports, the traffic pileup came as a result of revelers blocking the roadways preventing the free flow of traffic.
Many travelers wishing to leave the country were reported to have missed their flights.
Montague correctly demanded a full report from Quallo as to the circumstances which led to what clearly was a dangerous and costly foul-up.
For his part Commissioner, Quallo has said that the incident was an embarrassment to his Agency.
In a release, yesterday Minister Montague said the report did not meet the standards which the Jamaican public has come to expect from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
He said the report is inadequate, as it has not addressed the questions he raised. According to the release, the report did not outline the conditions of approval and did not clearly speak to a policing plan that was put in place for the event. Montague said as the minister, he cannot accept the report as it is not reflective of the hard work of the men and women who protect Jamaica daily.
He said it is on their behalf that he had no choice but to reject it.
Additionally, the minister said based on reports from the public, the police personnel on the ground displayed the utmost professionalism and courtesy, in the face of the hostile behavior from some people who attended the party.
Montague reminded the Commissioner that he has total command and superintendence of the force and as such someone must be held accountable.
National Security Minister Robert Montague is well within his rights to reject the report from the Police Commissioner based on the bullet points he outlined for the rejection.
The JCF has been under attack for decades, something which the present commissioner bears no responsibility for, the Island is simply a criminal supporting enclave.
Nevertheless, the JCF cannot be absolved of responsibility for some of the problems it faces. The challenges are many and the options are few, notwithstanding the police department had it within itself to do a much better job for the country.
Lack of resources, political interference, subversive attacks from criminal rights groups and a lack of proper remunerations are just a few of the challenges which have plagued the agency.
Over the decades, however, as the complaints rose to crescendo levels, the police high command has been content to sit on the sidelines and allow the rank-and-file members,[the officers with the least power] to bear the full brunt of the criticisms and persecution from the criminal supporting public.
Clearly, the latest report of the commissioner up the ladder has been nothing more than an abbreviated document which was hastily thrown together to deflect blame from the incompetence of the high command.
No Inspector, Sergeant or corporal much less a constable has the authority to green-light sporting events like the one which created the log-jam on the Palisadoes road.
Minister Montague is exactly correct in the stance he has taken in not allowing Commissioner Quallo to deflect blame from the senior aides under his command.
For years this writer has complained about the level of incompetence within the high command. Simple fixes to problems elude the senior cadre of the department and the consequences are channeled to the men and women who have zero control over decision making.
Members of the Police High command have no sense of shame in hogging the cameras when the hard-working men and women of the department reap success.
They should not be allowed to hide away and channel blame onto the powerless officers who do their best under trying circumstances.