Friday 4 December, 2020

Police Federation calls for the resignation of Professor Harriott

Professor Anthony Harriott

Professor Anthony Harriott

The Police Federation has called for the resignation of Professor Anthony Harriott, head of the Police Civilian Oversight Authority, following what have been described as disparaging comments which Harriott made against members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

The Police Federation said it is gravely concerned at the “egregious and erroneous” comments made by Harriott in a newspaper article titled, “Chop MOCA from toxic JCF”, on Monday, January 29, 2018.

In the article, Professor Harriott reportedly described the JCF as being toxic, adding that, “the occupational culture of the police force is one where you take the car and you go off and drink rum and do no investigation.” 

The federation, in a statement, said statements such as those only serve to further marginalise and demoralise the already overburdened members of the constabulary.

New Police Federation Chairman, Sergeant Cecil McCalla

Chairman of the federation, Sergeant Cecil McCalla, stated that, “It is alarming that an entity such as the PCOA that was established to assist in the transformation of the Jamaica Constabulary Force into a professional, disciplined and service-oriented police service, has made such spurious claims against its members without articulating one credible source of data to substantiate his claim.”

McCalla noted that the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) has about 87 per cent of its staff being police officers. 

McCalla said the federation is disgusted with the comments of Professor Harriott, and is calling upon him to retract his statements and apologise immediately to the hardworking men and women of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who continue to sacrifice their limbs and ultimately their lives in pursuant of a safer Jamaica.

He further stated that the rank and file cohort and, by extension, the entire JCF and its auxiliaries view the comments as egregious, lacking in merit, and likely to erode the cordial working relationship that exists with the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Police Civilian Oversight Authority and its head, Professor Harriott.   

Sergeant McCalla said since the article was published, Professor Harriott had ample time to retract or clarify his statement, neither of which he has done.

McCalla said, therefore, the federation is demanding that Professor Harriott does the honourable thing and resign as Chairman of the Police Civilian Oversight Authority with immediate effect.

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