KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Minister of National Security, Robert Montague, says there are sufficiently qualified candidates in Jamaica to fill the post of Commissioner of Police.
The Minister, who was addressing members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) at the Half Moon Hotel in Rose Hall, St. James, last week, said that while he understands the arguments in favour of giving the job to a foreigner, it does not necessarily follow that this would be in the best interest of the country.
“I believe in Jamaica. I also believe the requisite skills and competences are here to the point where we could be sending persons to take up similar positions in countries across the globe,” he said.
Former Police Commissioner, Dr. Carl Williams, resigned on January 6. Deputy Commissioner, Novelette Grant, has been asked to act in the post for 90 days.
Montague said that whilst the maxim that the best person for the job should be the main criterion regardless of nationality, the temptation should also be resisted to berate the merits of the local aspirants.
“I am yet to be swayed by the argument that we should ensure that the next Commissioner is from overseas. What kind of message would we be sending, if that was a mandatory requirement, to the over 700 JCF officers, both men and women, who have a first degree. What would we be saying to the over 300 men and women who have their Masters and also to the five police officers writing their dissertations for their PhDs?” the Minister asked.
Montague, who also noted that over 20 attorneys are currently working in the JCF, said Jamaica has never been lacking in finding qualified persons to fill critical positions, but the problem sometimes is the level of moral support given to those “placed in these positions.”
The Minister said that regardless of who is in charge or at the helm of the JCF, all decent law abiding Jamaicans will have to take a stance and show the criminals and those hell bent on creating mayhem that enough is enough and that there will be no safe haven for them to operate.