Monday, April 22, 2024

Pastors want fugitive protocol

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KINGSTON – The decision by the police to charge popular pastor Al Miller for his role in the “Dudus” affair has left other churchmen confused about how they should act when criminals seek their assistance.Several senior pastors from the various umbrella groups will meet today to finalise a pitch to the Police High Command for a protocol to guide ministers in their dealings with wanted men and the handing over of illegal firearms.The Reverend Lenworth Anglin, executive chairman of the Church of God in Jamaica, told The Sunday Gleaner that the criminal charges levelled against Miller for attempting to take Christopher “Dudus” Coke to the US Embassy had shown that there was a need for some established guidelines. Anglin said today’s meeting of the heads of the various umbrella church groups would be used to, among other things, assess how ministers of religion had been dealing with such matters, and to sign off on the need to meet with the police.However, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds said there was no need for a protocol, as the pastors were already aware of the modus operandi. “I’m sure the pastors are aware of what to do. It is no secret,” he told the Sunday Gleaner.According to Hinds, the pastors should remember that the police were always a phone call away.The senior officer contended that pastors who had, over time, brought in several wanted men and aided in the handing over of illegal firearms, had always advised the police beforehand of their intended actions.“I don’t see a big issue. Circumstances will always determine how it’s done. We are not breaking new ground here,” he said.Meanwhile, one of the country’s pre-eminent attorneys, who spoke on condition of anonymity, has advised pastors to keep the police abreast of their actions every step of the way when dealing with illegal firearms or wanted persons.“When in doubt, engage the police from the moment the particular instrument is in your hand, and be guided by the police,” the attorney said. (Jamaica Gleaner)

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