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Top cop not backing down

KINGSTON — Owen Ellington is unapologetic about opening up the Jamaica Constabulary Force to more public scrutiny.

Police commissioner Owen Ellington.

His reason is simple: The JCF, he says, costs the country $30 billion annually to operate, therefore the Jamaican people – as one of the police force’s stakeholders – have a right to know what is happening within the organisation.

Ellington, the police commissioner, was responding to critics who, he said, opposed his decision to share more police information, such as the weekly force orders, with the country.

“The population can’t be satisfied with statistics alone,” Ellington told a leadership forum for senior police staff at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel Tuesday morning.

The forum, held under the theme A New Era in Policing – Transforming the Constabulary, formed part of the JCF’s strategic review project and was attended by representatives of various organisations.

Arguing that the police can contribute value, Ellington said that the output of the organisation “can no longer be based on the standards of measurement we set for the departments, such as patrolling the streets; responding to calls for service; investigating crimes; arresting suspected offenders; regulating traffic; responding to citizens’ complaints and requests for assistance; handling crowds and demonstrations and responding to emergencies”.

He listed an enhanced sense of public security, increased usefulness of public spaces and facilities, and the raising of individual property values as among the set of desired social outcomes that constitute the ultimate justification for policing. (Observer)

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