Lucius Thomas Sworn in as Police Commissioner


It was with seeming humility and gratitude that the new Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas, received the symbolic Baton of Command from outgoing Commissioner, Francis Forbes, at the colourful Change of Command ceremony held at the Police Officers’ Club on Hope Road, St. Andrew on January 19.
“It is with humility and yet a sense of pride that I stand here to address this August gathering and to accept the baton of leadership, which has just been passed”, were the first words of the new Commissioner, as he addressed the gathering, which included Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, his Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) colleagues, dignitaries and well-wishers.
“I am humbled at the confidence expressed by countless Jamaicans from all walks of life, particularly those from the inner-cities, who also believe that I can make a greater contribution to the development of an orderly and just society, which will enhance the quality of life of our citizens,” he stated further.
Commissioner Thomas wasted no time in assuring Jamaicans of his commitment to get the job at hand done. He also expressed his resolve, to work to address some of the critical challenges that the JCF faced and to erase the barriers, which foster suspicion and disaffection between civil society and members of the force.
“We are determined to face the challenges ahead and to facilitate an atmosphere, which will be conducive to building a bridge of harmony, trust, respect and cooperation between citizens and the men and women of the force,” he stated.
The new Commissioner noted that there was no quick fix to the problems facing the JCF and indeed the wider society. “We are likely to make mistakes during the quest to restore a sense of safety and security to our country. I implore all Jamaica to be patient, honest and understanding when genuine mistakes are made,” he remarked.
As his priority, the Commissioner vowed to enhance the professionalism and effectiveness of the force and work to reduce incidents of conflict between the police and the public. “I am a firm believer in the overall goodness of the Jamaican people. I am confident that by working in a collaborative way, we can find the spirit, the energy and the courage to contain and ultimately subdue crime. Together, we can lift this country to a higher plain of satisfaction, security and prosperity,” the Commissioner told the gathering.
He further informed that recently, the final draft of the JCF’s three-year corporate strategy (2005-2008) was prepared, and the document would be completed in the first quarter of his tenure, and published for implementation.
He acknowledged the leadership of outgoing Commissioner Francis Forbes, in the development of this strategic plan. “He has been instrumental in directing the way forward in the process of reform and modernization of the force,” he said.
To the members of the force, the Commissioner said, “with teamwork and a spirit of togetherness we can achieve our mandate”.
Meanwhile, ex-Commissioner Francis Forbes, in his outgoing address, thanked various sectors, which had assisted him in his eight-year tenure. He also urged the new Commissioner to lift the modernization and reform programme “up another notch,” even as he contemplated the corporate strategy.
“We have taken very small steps on what I am convinced is the right track. Many of these initiatives are worth reinforcing and I suggest that you build on these strong fundamentals,” he stated.
Mr. Forbes also noted that sufficient resources must be found to equip the police so that they could do a better job.
Reflecting on his eight years of service as Commissioner of Police, Mr. Forbes said that under his regime, much had been done to reduce corruption in the force, with the dismissal of 50 men and women, many of whom were caught in sting operations, while several other cases were being pursued. In addition, he said that many corrupt members have panicked and fled as the investigative net closed in on them.
Turning to the future, Mr. Forbes said, “if we are to succeed, the JCF has to increase its commitment to training our members in a continuous learning environment. “We also have to embrace the modern technological tools, which exist to make us more efficient”.
To the new Commissioner, Mr. Forbes charged him to go forth and do the job to the best of his ability. “Walk with God along this journey; Jamaicans here and abroad are depending on you,” he stated.

JIS Social