By a majority no-confidence motion vote the Mayor and City Councillors (M&CC) of Georgetown expressed their dissatisfaction with the work of Chief Constable, Andrew Foo.
The councillors voted to have Foo dismissed from office during a statutory meeting held at City Hall yesterday. The mover of the motion, Denroy Tudor, brought a strong case against Foo for which 19 councillors voted in favour, two voted against and three abstained.
During his presentation, Tudor nonetheless requested a recommendation that Foo be terminated from duties with all of his benefits intact and that the recommendation be forwarded to the Local Government Commission, (LGC) for approval. Toward the end of the meeting the Council agreed that the LGC will ultimately have the final say as to whether Foo “stays or goes”.
But before that decision was taken, several councillors around the horse shoe table at City Hall registered their dissatisfaction at Foo’s conduct as Head of the City Constabulary Department —a unit chiefly responsible for the security of the Council, the residents, commuters and businesses in Georgetown.
Tudor particularly stressed on Foo Laissez-faire approach to the work. According to him, Foo’s actions have had a negative effect on the entire department.
“We have seen what conspires in the constabulary. This lax attitude is not just with Mr. Foo but it has translated to most of the city officers. There is a similar sort of nature that they all reflect.”
The Councillor noted therefore that it is imperative that the Council takes action to ensure that the City Constabulary Department is shifted from a downward trajectory.
“For the past nine months, I have sat at this Council meetings, I have heard numerous complaints about the constabulary. I think it is time for that to change,” he added.
Councillor Eketa Edwards, who spoke in support of the motion of no -confidence brought against Foo, asserted that as residents of Georgetown, people want to feel safe.
“There are several of these officers stationed throughout the city on a daily basis but I beg to question why they are there?” Edwards asked adding, “Residents and commuters are being target and robbed. Businesses are being broken into and sadly no action is taken. The crime situation remains without redress.”
“What is the Chief Constable doing?”
“Is Georgetown too big Mr Mayor?”
Added to the inaction on part of the constabulary to address crime in the city, Councillor Edwards pointed to the inability of the constabulary to craft a security plan to deal with the situation.
She pointed to instances where criminal activities were undertaken seemingly right under the noses of the City Constabulary.
“There is the issue of the removal of the fence around Russell Square where no action was taken and the incident where a homeless person was able to remove louvre panes and was able to replace them for a night’s rest right in the Council’s compound and he did so without being noticed,” Edwards added.
She emphasized that the constabulary department should be capable of providing parallel police services to deter crime within the city.
Edwards was specific to mention the report of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into City Hall which concluded last year. The report had stated inter alia Foo’s inability as the Chief Constable to lead his department.
Fellow Councillor, David Allicock, in support of the call also pointed to the COI report.
In addition to Foo’s lack of leadership in his department, Allicock noted that the COI, which was chaired by retired Justice Cecil Kennard, had recommended that the Chief Constable be dismissed from duties citing his corrupt and improper conduct.
Allicock said that there is no doubt that Foo failed to demonstrate that he is in command of his department.
“The fact of the matter is that he has lost control,” he added.
Foo’s lack of competency, Allicock noted, was documented in the COI report.
Allicock said, “According to the report the city constabulary conducted several investigations but months and even years would go by and the investigations remain incomplete.”
Added to that, the Councillor noted that the COI recommended that Foo be sanctioned for attempting to manipulate information brought before the commission.
“Mr. Foo had handled a particular investigation into an alleged break and enter of the storage facility of the M&CC where the removal of books and accounting files from the municipal archives came to light when the Chief Constable appeared before the COI, and was questioned. He caused a report to be prepared to corroborate his story. The COI report states this is more than improper conduct it borders on criminality,” Allicock added.
Quoting the words of the retired Justice Kennard in the report, the Councillor noted that a recommendation was made that “the corrupt, incompetent officer should be dismissed.”
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