SSD trio clears air on stand-off

National, Normal

The National- Monday, January 17, 2011

 THREE members of the Special Services Division (SSD) said the police force is “unstable” under the leadership of acting commissioner Anthony Wagambie.

The officers, claiming to represent over a thousand SSD members in Southern, Highlands, Islands and Momase regions, said that the recent “attack” on one of their comrades who received  serious injuries to his jaws and the confistication of their director’s vehicle including SSD weapons was a confirmation of this “stand-off.”

The senior officers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said last Friday that since the appointment of Wagambie to acting commissioner there had been tension between him (Wagambie) and the SSD command. 

“We know that he (Wagambie) wants to take revenge on the SSD because he had issues with Gari Baki who was an ex-SSD member back in 2006,” one officer said 

“He and his cronies are stirring things up to derail the SSD.

“We still respect the office of the commissioner, however, we ask the government to intervene and appoint a new commissioner and a new deputy who are neutral and not power-hungry individuals,” another said.

The men, who are under the directorship of Chief Supt David Manning, said they “won’t lie low and treat the beating of their colleague lightly” until their cries were heard.

They said the Post-Courier’s front page report last Friday, saying one of their officers was drunk and drove carelessly, was a “framed story” aimed at dismantling and tainting the image of SSD. 

“The SSD is intact and we, on behalf of the silent majority, ask the government to appoint a new management to lead the police force.”

They refuted claims of indiscipline and said they reacted with a barricade on the road into the McGregor Barracks because their colleague was innocently beaten by “suspended officers” who were reinstated by the police hierarchy to execute an illegal act no less than that of criminals.  

Attempts to get comments from Wagambie on the weekend were unsuccessful.