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 912 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.