Inspector Sandro Camilleri, the founder and former head of the Police Officers Union, has confirmed he is considering applying for the post of police commissioner.
“I’ve received several messages on a daily basis from people who trust me and who are encouraging me to apply,” Camilleri said on Xarabank. “I wasn’t considering it at first but when I saw all that support, yes, I am considering it.”
“I’m a public official, of the people. Some have said police aren’t accountable to the public but I say we are. If the people want me, then the people want me.”
That statement appeared to be a reference to Economic Crimes Unit head Ian Abdilla, who said in 2018 that he isn’t accountable to the public when questioned by Times of Malta about police investigations into 17 Black.
Camilleri said criminals certainly aren’t rooting for him to become police commissioner, but rather genuine people who approach him on a daily basis for legal consultancy.
He confirmed that he’d introduce body cams for police officers immediately if he were to be appointed police commissioner, a proposal he has been fronting for several years.
However, the inspector also made it clear that he believes police constables, and not the police commissioner, are the backbone of the police force.
“Some people say the police commissioner is the highest rank in the police force, but I say it isn’t. We have around 1,300 constables and they’re the ones who work with people on a daily basis. The police commissioner is a manager, and he must be a good manager, but the constables are the everyday heroes.”
Prime Minister Robert Abela recently announced a new selection process for the post of police commissioner. As per the new criteria, the Public Service Commission will issue an open call for applications and shortlist two candidates.
Cabinet will then select one of these two candidates and that person will face a grilling in front of a parliamentary committee before a vote is taken in the House.