|Senior cops reject Seaga's statement
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
THE Police Officers Association (POA) yesterday expressed concern about statements by the Leader of the Opposition Edward Seaga that Police Commissioner Francis Forbes was ineffective and that he has been taking political instructions.
"We categorically reject the assertion, which only seeks to undermine the professional integrity of the organisation, we believe the statement negates his favourable comments on the professional conduct of the security forces made on the night of Wednesday, October 16. The unwarranted attack made a mere two days later brings the sincerity of those comments into question," the association said in a statement last night.
Seaga, during a tour last Friday of Denham Town where three houses were fire-bombed on Thursday, leaving one dead and 33 people homeless, said the commissioner of police, has shown in the past that he was one of the most ineffective MPs and he would continue on this ineffective pathway as long as he pursued his work politically.
Said the POA's statement: "The suggestion made by Mr Seaga as to the type of tactical initiative necessary to maintain law and order in specific troubled areas, ie, creation of buffer zones is not new. In fact, over the past year this initiative was implemented in several areas within West Kingston, Hannah Town, Denham Town, Wilton Gardens and Federal Gardens to name a few.
"Their establishment and withdrawal from time to time were based solely on professional judgement and not 'political instruction'. We are, therefore, totally surprised at Mr Seaga's assertion," said the association, which represents officers above the rank of inspector.
"All well-thinking Jamaicans recognise how imperative it is for us to be united especially as it relates to dealing with crime and violence. Now is the time for nation building and healing. Such statements only serve to undermine efforts at developing true partnership and co-operation among members of the security forces and the wider community," the POA said.