Former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mark Shields, says he agrees that the country should not limit itself to the local pool of officers in its search for a replacement for outgoing Police Commissioner Owen Ellington.

The suggestion was put on the table last Saturday by President of the influential Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, Chris Zacca.

The country was rocked last week by news of the sudden retirement of Mr. Ellington after serving for four years in the post.

Mr. Shields says the country will only stand to benefit if it looks beyond Jamaica for a suitable candidate.

In echoing the sentiments of Mr. Zacca, Mark Shields agrees that international candidates must be considered in the search for a new Commissioner of the Jamaican police force.

He concedes that while there are competent local candidates, foreign candidates would add depth to the recruitment pool.

Mr. Shields who served in the JCF as deputy commissioner in charge of crime for almost five years before retiring in 2009, was seconded to the JCF from Scotland Yard in March 2005.

He says an insular JCF does not augur well for crime fighting.

Mr. Shields refused to be drawn on who is his choice to replace Owen Ellington as head of the JCF.

Lisa Williams, for Nationwide News.