National Security Minister Demands Answers from Police after New Year's Party Causes Traffic Jam and Flight Delays
The only road to the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston was blocked for hours. (Photo Credit: Jamaica Gleaner) KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday January 2, 2018 – The police high command in Jamaica has to provide National Security Minister Robert Montague with some answers about why a New Year’s Day party it gave permission for ended up causing massive traffic congestion on the sole road to the Norman Manley International Airport which resulted in flight delays and airline passengers missing their flights. And Montague wants the answers by 5 p.m. today, according to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.
The minister has requested a report from Police Commissioner George Quallo on the circumstances surrounding the traffic pileup on the Palisadoes Road. The strip was blocked for several hours, reportedly because patrons of the Sandz party which was in the vicinity of the airport inappropriately parked their vehicles and then left the venue in a disorganized manner, according to the media house. In a statement this morning, Montague said he wants Commissioner Quallo to specifically outline the conditions surrounding the issuing of the permit, the policing plan that was put in place for the event, and steps that will be taken to hold someone accountable.
Montague noted that in approving the permit for the party, the police should have drafted a plan that would cover traffic flow. “Who gave permission? Why?
Where was the policing plan? Where were the police? What if there was a disaster at the airport?” he questioned. “Where was the traffic plan?
What consideration went into it? What if there was an emergency at the airport or in Port Royal and emergency vehicles had to get to either location?” Montague said the report will be made public.
Commissioner Quallo, meantime, apologized for the inconvenience caused by the pileup, saying on Twitter that it had embarrassed the Jamaica Constabulary Force. He said a probe has been ordered.
Good morning. I have read your many concerns and the comments.
The situationn is a most unfortunate one as the pile of traffic has caused some level of embarrassment to the management of the organisation and our sworn responsibilities. We regret the inconvenience caused by this — George Quallo (@GeorgeQuallo) January 2, 2018
A probe has been ordered to determine what went wrong operationally and the remedial steps to be adopted. Again a mere apology will never suffice and we understand quite rightly how the inconvenience has sullied the image of the organisation. We need your continued support
Passengers as well as flight crew were affected by the massive traffic jam.
The Jamaica Gleaner said a flight crew for British Airways arrived at the airport three hours after the aircraft was scheduled to depart.