KINGSTON, Jamaica – The search for a new police commissioner has yet to really start, and it will not get going until after Friday, when Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin leaves his office at 103 Old Hope Road, St Andrew, for the last time.
However, smart money is being bet on Owen Ellington, the acting deputy commissioner of police in charge of operations and crime.
The Gleaner can confirm that Ellington is the Government’s choice to replace Lewin. However, Ellington will have to get the approval of the Police Service Commission (PSC), which is the body mandated to appoint the police commissioner.
The declaration came hours after it was confirmed that Lewin had tendered his resignation and is to leave office on Friday with more than a year to go on his contract.
The PSC is expected to interview deputy commissioners Jevene Bent, Ellington and Charles Scarlett before naming an acting commissioner this week while the search continues for a replacement for Lewin.
That search is likely to begin by next week.
Retired Assistant Commissioner Errol Strong, who now heads the Firearm Licensing Authority, Assistant Commissioner Novlette Grant, and Deputy Commissioners Bent, Scarlett and Linval Bailey are expected to be in the mix.
However, while Grant, Bailey and Scarlett have completed international police commissioner courses, it appears that they will all lose out to Ellington.
“We don’t want to repeat the experiment of going outside to get a commissioner. That was a major failure with Lewin, and we think Ellington has the necessary experience and knowledge to lead the force,” the government source told The Gleaner.
Ellington has been a member of the force for almost 30 years and has worked in several areas.