Police Commissioner George Quallo is saying sorry for what he says is the embarrassing pile-up of traffic on the Palisadoes Highway in Kingston last night!
The Palisadoes road is the only vehicular passage to and from the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
The traffic debacle led to a number of people missing their flights.
The departure of at least 4 aeroplanes, including a British Airways flight, was also delayed by approximately an hour.
The traffic was caused by patrons attending the popular annual Sandz Party put on by the Supreme Entertainment Team in the vicinity of the Palisadoes strip.
In two tweets this afternoon, Commissioner Quallo says the JCF management is embarrassed by what transpired and the incident has sullied its image.
He says the situation is most unfortunate and the JCF apologizes for the inconvenience caused.
The Police Chief says an investigation is underway to determine what caused a break down in the JCF’s operations protocol and remedial steps which are to be taken. He says he knows a mere apology will not suffice.
Commissioner Quallo also made an appeal for continued public support.
The public apology from the Police Chief came hours after National Security Minister Robert Montague directed the top cop to submit a full report to him about the Palisadoes fiasco.
That report should have been sent to Minister Montague by 5:00 this afternoon.
The Security Minister is reportedly angry that the incident was allowed to take place.
A statement this morning from Minister Montague said the repercussions of the incident are yet to be fully tabulated.
Minister Montague says he’s asked the Police Commissioner to outline the conditions surrounding the issuing of the permit for the entertainment event.
The Security Minister has also directed Commissioner Quallo to disclose the policing plan that was put in place for the event and the steps that will be taken to hold someone accountable.
The pile-up of traffic led to at least 4 flights, which were to depart Jamaica, being delayed because airline crew members could not make their way to take up their duties on time.
A number of people also missed their flights because they were stuck in traffic.
Some barely made their way to the airport in time but only after walking miles or hiring the services of motorcycle owners.
Non-Jamaican nationals were among those badly inconvenienced.
In the meantime…when contacted today by our news center, Police Traffic Division Head, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen says his division was not consulted before the event was allowed to take place.
SSP Allen says what transpired yesterday cannot be allowed to happen again.
Meanwhile – up to news time – efforts to contact the promoters of the Sandz party which caused major disruptions to operations at the country’s premier international airport were unsuccessful.
It’s understood that the promoters, Supreme Team, have told authorities that they did everything possible to restore order but patrons would not obey instructions.
Our news center has obtained a copy of a no-objection letter sent to the promoters prior to the event by the Norman Manley International Airport, the NMIA.
The letter gave permission for patrons to use parking space in the vicinity of the airport.
However, the no-objection letter said permission for use of the parking space was being granted subject to several conditions.
These conditions – include a requirement that sterile areas at the airport are not encroached upon.
According to the no-objection letter, permission for use of the parking space in the vicinity of the airport was also granted under the strict condition that the airport’s operations are in no way disrupted.
The promoters were also required to erect barriers and ensure that patrons did not breach the security cordons which were to be erected.
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