COPS IN TROUBLE---Cases mount up against them

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COPS IN TROUBLE---Cases mount up against them

Post by ^^Rosci^^ on Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:21 am

Nagra Plunkett, Assignment Coordinator

WESTERN BUREAU:

A 31-year-old policeman attached to the Area One Flying Squad - based in Montego Bay - is scheduled to be sentenced for gun-related charges on March 21, following his conviction in the Western Regional Gun Court on Wednesday.

The conviction of Constable Rahul Khourie comes on the heels of Saturday's arrest of three men, two of whom are members of the St James Police Division, on suspicion of a robbery reportedly committed along Gloucester Avenue in the city.

"The situation is very demoralising for members of the force. It places them in an awkward position where the public is now wondering how many more of them are involved in illegal activities," said Dr Beverley East, psychiatrist at the Family and Parenting Centre in Montego Bay.

She continued that "... it is a new day in that we are cleaning up the force and I am confident that in the next two years, we will be better off for all that is happening. After all there is no ill wind that does not blow some good".

Two days ago, Constable Omar Gordon turned himself in at the Montego Freeport Police Station in connection with the June 14, 2007 kidnapping of 44-year-old Timothy Pattico from his home in the Bogue Village, Montego Bay. Pattico has not been seen since.

"He (Gordon) went in with his attorney and at this time he is being held at an undisclosed location," Assistant Commissioner of Police Leslie Green, head of the Organised Crime Unit, told The Gleaner. "The ones who were arrested on Saturday are being interviewed today (Thursday) and tomorrow," he said.

Allegations of corruption

The St James Police Division has been dogged by allegations of corruption against some of its members, with a number of them now before the courts on criminal charges. In January, there was a mass transfer of about 40 rank-and-file members from the division.

Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, says he is committed to a "corruption-free, professional and citizen-focused police force".

Last month, a police sergeant from the Corporate Area fled from his colleagues during a sting operation that was set up after he allegedly took money from a motorist. But days later, he turned himself in and his case is now before the courts.

Cop arrested

Constable Khourie was arrested last December, along with two other men who were travelling in his motor car, near the Bogue Industrial Estate in Montego Bay.

His vehicle was searched by a police team and three firearms, including a Smith and Wesson .40 pistol, a dismantled Smith and Wesson revolver and a home-made handgun, were recovered. His licensed firearm was also confiscated.

At the time, he was on interdiction for allegedly discharging his service pistol at the Montego Freeport Police Station on November 27, 2007, during a wake for his murdered colleague, Constable Cornel Lewis.

The Crown offered no evidence against the cop's 'passengers' during the two-week trial, after which Justice Leighton Pusey handed down a guilty verdict.
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