Montague Rejects Police Commissioner’s Palisadoes Chaos Report

162

National Security Minister Robert Montague says he’s rejected a report submitted to him by Police Commissioner George Quallo about Monday’s embarrassing six hour-long traffic gridlock on the Palisadoes Highway in East Kingston.

Unruly patrons of the Sandz party and bad Police traffic management are being blamed for the gridlock that disrupted operations at the Norman Manley International Airport.

Several people, including visitors to the island, missed their flights – while the departure of some international flights were delayed.

Minister Montague’s public rebuke of Commissioner Quallo and rejection of the top cop’s report come as pressure is mounting on the Police Chief and the High Command over the incident.

Commissioner Quallo’s preliminary account of what transpired and who should be held accountable was submitted to Minister Montague last evening.

The National Security Minister is angry. Montague issued a strongly worded statement this afternoon. He says he’s disappointed in the contents of the document submitted to him by Commissioner Quallo.

Minister Montague notes that the account submitted to him by the Police Commissioner sought to lay blame for the embarrassing incident on rank and file members of the constabulary force. But the Security Minister says he will not accept this. He said the Commissioner’s report has not met the expected standard.

Minister Montague says the report is inadequate as it has not addressed the questions he asked the Commissioner.

The Security Minister says the document submitted to him has not outlined the conditions of approval for the permit given to the party promoters whose event caused the traffic gridlock.

Additionally, the Minister says Commissioner Quallo has failed to outline clearly a policing plan that was put in place for the event.

Minister Montague says he cannot accept the report as it’s not consistent with the hard work of the men and women who protect Jamaica daily.

He said it’s on their behalf that he had no choice but not to accept the document sent to him last evening by Commissioner Quallo.

The Security Minister says based on public feedback, the police on the ground at Palisadoes on Monday displayed the utmost courtesy, in the face of the hostile behaviour from people who attended the party.

The Security Minister says police personnel at the location cannot be solely blamed for the inadequate planning that appears to have gone into the event.

In his statement this afternoon – Minister Montague told the Commissioner that the Police High Command should show the accountability that is necessary in the circumstances.

The Minister says he has given Commissioner Quallo until Friday of this week to submit to him a comprehensive account of what transpired in the vicinity of the Palisadoes Highway on Monday and who will be held accountable.

The statement from Minister Montague ended by telling the Police Commissioner he should note the law says that he, the Commissioner, has sole operational command and superintendence of the Constabulary.

— 30 —



Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.