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New Police Commissioner Calls For More Support

New Police Commissioner Calls For More Support
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (centre), converses with new Police Commissioner, George Quallo, during Friday’s (April 28) installation ceremony, held at the Police Officers’ Club in St. Andrew.
(Media Credit: Yhomo Hutchinson)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- New Police Commissioner, George Quallo, is urging more members of civil society to support the efforts of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to reduce crime and violence. He said it is essential that a stronger alliance be forged between citizens and the police in the pursuit of peace. “I am imploring you to join us in the fight against the criminals who cast a dark shadow over all of us. While I accept and fully understand that dealing with crime is the primary responsibility of the police, the people of Jamaica must acknowledge their pivotal role. We need the support of the people. Today, I am asking you for that support,” Mr. Quallo urged. He was speaking at his installation as Jamaica’s 29th Police Commissioner, which was held at the Police Officers’ Club in St. Andrew on April 28.

Mr. Quallo, who said his tenure would be marked by “strong and robust” communication, indicated that he is a “firm believer in communicating with the people.”

To this end, he assured that “you are going to see me on the ground in your communities, towns and villages, as I strive to build a more fruitful relationship with citizens.”

“I am going to be with you, not only when things go wrong, but also to hear of your aspirations and to share your joy. This is a done deal,” the Commissioner added.

Mr. Quallo also underscored the importance of external communication in keeping the nation abreast of developments with the JCF.

He emphasized his “solid understanding” that the news media serve as the main purveyors of information to the public.

In this regard, the Commissioner said a relationship of trust, cooperation and mutual respect between the police and the media is essential in providing accurate and timely information.

“The police, under my watch, will extend all courtesies to members of the media. This is with the common understanding that the public has a right to information. Of course, the media must be responsible when undertaking their job,” Mr. Quallo added.

The Commissioner also gave an undertaking to strengthen the dialogue with the JCF’s membership, noting that “too often, those of us in the Force forget how important (and) critical it is to communicate with each other.”

“I will find time to listen to as many of my colleagues as possible. When I make (the) time, I want a working exchange where members share their ideas on how to better manage and get better results from their colleagues,” he said.

Mr. Quallo also assured members that he would “vigorously” defend them if and when they have no option but to use “justifiable” force to protect their lives and those of law-abiding citizens.

“We can all agree that the use of force and people’s rights are contentious. I know particular situations will, of necessity, require that the police respond with the use of deadly force. But let’s be clear, I will not stand for or defend any of my colleagues who wantonly abuse the rights of citizens. We swear to serve, protect, and reassure,” he emphasized.

Mr. Quallo acknowledged that the JCF is troubled by corruption “which impedes our efforts to effectively serve our people,” adding that “it has to be dealt with urgently.”

“Corruption smears our image and erodes the trust reposed in us as law enforcement officers. In order to build trust and defeat the mindless criminals in our midst, we must remove the stain of corruption from our uniforms, no matter the designated rank,” he underscored.