We begin this afternoon with news that Jamaica will have a new Police Commissioner next year.

This, as the current Police Commissioner, Dr. Carl Williams, will be stepping down from the post, next month.

Nationwide News understands that Dr. Williams has written to the Police Services Commission, indicating that he’ll be taking early retirement, effective January 6.

Dr. Williams has been a member of the JCF for over three decades. He was appointed to the post of Police Commissioner in September 2014. This, after his predecessor, Owen Ellington, also took early retirement.

Dr. Williams has indicated his intention to retire early in a letter to the Chairman of the Police Services Commission, Professor Gordon Shirley.

Nationwide News has seen a copy of the letter, dated November 04, 2016. It was also copied to National Security Minister, Robert Montague.

Dr. Williams says his decision to retire is motivated by personal reasons. He says he’s retiring on the basis of his age and years of service. Dr. Williams is 52-years-old. He says having enlisted in the JCF in February 1984, it’s been his honour to have given more than three decades of tireless service.

Dr. Williams says he communicated his reasons for retiring to Minister Robert Montague on October 18.

Nationwide caught up with Minister Montague just last week Wednesday, December 14, and asked him whether Commissioner Williams retains his full confidence.

He unequivocally told us, ‘yes’. But he made no mention of the Commissioner’s imminent retirement.

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Dr. Williams’ decision to step down follows a tough year for the police he leads.

Up to November 19, more than 1,160 people had been murdered so far this year. This is a five-percent increase in murders over the corresponding period last year.

However, the police have been keen to remind the public that other major crimes have declined.