A Local Is Good Enough For Top Cop Job, Says Jamaica’s National Security Minister

Minister of National Security Robert Montague (left), is greeted by Jamaica Defence Force Captain, Aubyn Sibblies (right), at a reception, held at the Half Moon Hotel, Rose Hall. At centre is Assistant Commissioner of Police, Warren Clarke. (Photo: JIS/Garwin Davis)

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday January 10, 2017
– Minister of National Security Robert Montague isn’t buying the argument that someone from overseas would do a better job of leading the island’s police force. As far as he’s concerned, there are sufficiently qualified candidates in Jamaica to fill the post following the resignation of Dr Carl Williams last week.

The minister, who was addressing members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) recently, 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.

Deputy Commissioner Novelette Grant has been asked to act in the post for 90 days.

Montague said that while 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?” he asked.

The minister, 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”.

He said that regardless of who is at the helm of the JCF, all decent law abiding Jamaicans will have to take a stand 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.

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