PM defends Erla from critics; says she needs our support

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PM defends Erla from critics; says she needs our support

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has come out in defence of Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher against criticism by the public and retired senior superintendent of the Central Division, Johnny Abraham.

Speaking at the UNC event, Abraham told the gathering, “There is no leadership in the police service. And the reason for that is because some people went and got elevated because of friendship, because of clique.

“While I was on the ground fighting crime, they were studying. The thing about the whole police service now is people are afraid to take the challenge to the criminals. They have no leaders, they have no leadership.”

But speaking at the post-cabinet press conference yesterday, Rowley said: “… If I were him I would shut my mouth!”

Rowley said the independent Police Service Commission assists in this process and identifies to the Parliament the person they believe should be hired as Commissioner of Police (CoP).

“It mightn’t be your favourite, or his favourite but the bottom line is that is the person who, for a period of time, is required to run the Police Service,” he said.

Rowley said he didn’t think it helps to “… try to get yourself in the news every night by shouting down everything negative about the Commissioner of Police. She needs our support. If it was a ‘he’, he needs our support because the situation is that is the person that’s been put there to do that job and if that person isn’t going to get our assistance and all the person gets is denigration from those…”

He added, “Let me just say this—because I need to say it: when the Commissioner Erla Christopher finds herself being ridiculed on a political platform by Johnny Abraham, it rots my gut! Because I want to tell Mr Abraham, he’s not the only person who knows about crime and criminality in this country. And if I were him, I would shut my mouth!”

Rowley claimed, “Is people like that who have us where we are today! Had we not had people like that in the police service, maybe we’d never have been where we are today!

“So don’t complain to me in the ‘solutions’ and (at PNM’s San Juan meeting) I’ll talk about the politicians who have us where we are today! And (they) coming and telling you they have ‘solutions’ when they are part of the blasted problem!”