INDECOM boss is the prob­lem, says se­nior cop

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Ed­mond Camp­bell Se­nior Staff Re­porter ed­mond.camp­bell@glean­erjm.com

These are some of the prac­ti­cal con­cerns of the mem­bers that make them wary of try­ing to en­gage with peo­ple who are armed out there and who are, in fact, taunt­ing them with the idea that ‘you can’t do us any­thing be­cause there is INDECOM’.

A MEM­BER of the Po­lice High Com­mand yes­ter­day shelved diplo­macy and took aim at the head of the In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion of In­ves­ti­ga­tions (INDECOM), Ter­rence Wil­liams, in­di­cat­ing that the man­ner in which the com­mis­sioner of the over­sight body car­ries out his job was cre­at­ing ten­sion be­tween the po­lice force and the agency.

Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Glen­more Hinds told a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee yes­ter­day that while mem­bers of the force have a good re­la­tion­ship with the staff of INDECOM, the law-en­force­ment agency has a prob­lem with the over­sight body’s leader.

Hinds, who was ap­pear­ing be­fore the Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee (PAAC), was yes­ter­day quizzed about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween INDECOM and the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force (JCF) by com­mit­tee mem­bers, who also wanted to know whether the pro­posed sign­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween the bod­ies, in less than a week, would ad­dress op­er­a­tional con­cerns on both sides.

“I was de­lib­er­ate in us­ing the word ‘good’ be­cause the re­la­tion­ship be­tween INDECOM and JCF of­fi­cers is, by and large, good,” Hinds told com­mit­tee mem­bers.

How­ever, he said: “The ma­jor is­sue we have is with the com­mis­sioner of INDECOM. I must make this dis­tinc­tion be­cause there is a reg­u­lar sched­uled meet­ing be­tween the heads of both de­part­ments. Agree­ments are made and ar­rived at, but they must be signed off by the com­mis­sioner of INDECOM, and quite of­ten, those are flipped. They can’t come to any agree­ment that is go­ing to bind INDECOM un­less he (Wil­liams) agrees to it.”

Hinds in­sisted that while both the JCF and INDECOM grap­ple with is­sues on the ground, there is gen­er­ally a good re­la­tion­ship be­tween the staff of the over­sight agency and the po­lice. He made it clear that the prob­lem was not with the leg­is­la­tion gov­ern­ing INDECOM but stressed that it was how “some per­sons in INDECOM, more so the com­mis­sioner, ap­plies his re­mit”.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Fitz Jack­son said he ap­pre­ci­ated Hinds’ forth­right re­marks, adding that INDECOM re­ported to Par­lia­ment, and as such, the PAAC, in its full re­port to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, should pro­pose an intervention strat­egy to ad­dress the se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer’s con­cern.

Jack­son charged: “None of us are God unto our­selves.”

He said the com­mis­sioner of INDECOM has to be ac­count­able to the Ja­maican Par­lia­ment.

Ef­forts to reach Wil­liams for a com­ment were un­suc­cess­ful as his phone rang re­peat­edly with­out an an­swer.

The ma­jor is­sue we have is with the com­mis­sioner of INDECOM. ... Agree­ments are made and ar­rived at, but they must be signed off by the com­mis­sioner of INDECOM, and quite of­ten, those are flipped.

HINDS

WIL­LIAMS

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