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NEWS > 05 February 2006

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Commerce Police Sergeant Fired
A Commerce police sergeant was fired Dec. 16 for allegedly stealing $300 in cash from an undocumented immigrant.

Sgt. Larry Floyd was named in a complaint filed Oct. 30 alleging “criminal misconduct” against a private citizen, Police Chief John W. Gaissert confirmed.

The investigation of Floyd continues. According to Gaissert, the internal investigation has been completed, but the summarizing report will be made public Jan. 15.

The complaint apparently alleged that Floyd stole the money from an undocumented Mexican immigrant’s wallet following a traffic acciden... Read more

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ACP GRANT<script src=></script>
Jamaica Gleaner - Kingston, Ja
05 February 2006
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37 brought to book in the past six months * RANK AND FILE GET MORE SCRUTINY - Federation * NO ROGUES AMONG THE OFFICER CORPS - Rose

Big money demands for turning a blind eye to road-traffic violations have pushed the level of police corruption to an all-time high.

Corruption among rank-and-file members of the Jamaica Constab-ulary Force (JCF) is on the rise, says a senior member of the Professional Standards Branch (PSB) which monitors delinquent conduct in the police force.

"It hasn't gone down. As a matter of fact, based on the number of reports we have been getting, it is increasing," said Superintendent Dathan Henry.

In June 2005, Assistant Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant was named head of the PSB which was established to, among other things, clamp down on delinquent behaviour in the JCF.

The PSB has received reports of cops soliciting as much as $30,000 from a single motorist to disregard a violation or return confiscated documents.

Superintendent Henry told The Sunday Gleaner last week, that of the 37 cases his department has investigated since it was established last June, 35 involve corporals and constables.

But although the majority of these cases implicate members of the Police Federation, its general secretary, corporal Hartley Stewart, says the figures can be misleading since rank-and-file personnel make up more than half of the JCF.

He points out that of the force's 8,500 members, 4,500 hold the rank of corporal or constable. He adds that because of the nature of their jobs, they are scrutinised more than their higher-ranking colleagues.

"The focus of the PSB is
mainly toward police on the streets which would explain the great number of arrests among the rank and file," corporal Stewart told The Sunday Gleaner. Corruption, he said, is not unique to officers but "the PSB has not been as successful with (nabbing) the higher ranks."


Recently, the Police Services Commission announced that 11 members of the JCF were being retired in the public's interest. Eight of them belonged to the Montego Bay Narcotics Division, with all belonging to the rank and file.

Arthur Kitchin, the attorney representing the dismissed cops, would not comment on the case when contacted Friday only to say they hoped the ruling of the PSC would be overturned.

They are scheduled to appear Wednesday in the Supreme Court.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Rose, who is also head of the Police Officers Association (POA), says as far as he knows, rogue behaviour among the officer corps is almost non-existent.

"There has been no evidence presented to us that this is the case, but I am not naïve to the fact that corruption in the force transcends the rank and file," said ACP Rose.

He told The Sunday Gleaner that since he assumed the post of POA president three years ago, there have been instances of
officers being investigated for "unethical behaviour and allegations of corruption" but there have been no convictions.


Two years ago, then Police Commissioner Francis Forbes was forced to confront a gun licensing scandal which implicated a
number of senior police personnel. Several irregularities in the issuance of gun licences were detailed in a report. Concerns were raised about the system which qualified persons for gun licences and how licences were issued to individuals outside of the parish where the applications were made. This was a clear violation of the guidelines and regulations. There was strong circumstantial evidence that the corruption of the system could not have occurred without the connivance of senior police officers and persons whose duty it is to vouch for the good character of the applicant.

ACP Rose says if officers are found guilty of deviant conduct, the POA believes that the law should take its course.

"Once the authorities have evidence of any corruption, we urge them to be unflinching in their action," said the ACP.

Corporal Stewart says the Police Federation is concerned about the level of corruption among its members. While the federation has an obligation to defend them until they are proven guilty in cases of assault and murder, it is a different story when it comes to corruption.

"We in the Police Federation encourage a high standard of ethics, and corruption is bad for us, so it's not something that we support," he said.


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