Commissioner Unveils New Geographic Policing Model


Police Commissioner, Francis Forbes, on Wednesday (October 15) unveiled the new geographic policing model of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, at a press conference held at the Police Officers’ Club in Kingston.
The implementation of the new model, seeks to decentralize the operations of the police force, in a bid to improve effectiveness and accountability. This decentralization will begin on a phased basis, starting with the four pilot divisions of St. James, Manchester, St. Catherine South, and St. Andrew South.
Commissioner Forbes noted that the new structure, which delegates authority to individual police divisions, would see significant changes at the command and middle management levels.
Using an organizational chart, Commissioner Forbes explained that each division would be headed by a Commanding Officer. At present, that post is held by a Superintendent of Police. The other three positions comprising the top management of the division include, the Divisional Crime Officer, Divisional Operations Officer and the Divisional Management Officer. The Crime Unit and the Intelligence Unit of each division will fall under the charge of the Divisional Crime Officer, while the Divisional Operations Officer will be responsible for the Divisional Patrol Units and the Divisional Support Units, Mr. Forbes said.
Two brand new additions to the divisional command structure, he pointed out, were the Divisional Finance Manager and the Divisional Human Resource Manager, who report directly to the Commanding Officer.
“The total objective of this restructuring effort is to create a divisional unit that will allow for devolution to the command structure, and what we hope will emanate from that is divisional primacy,” he noted.
Elaborating on the concept of divisional primacy, the Commissioner said, “Divisional primacy will mean that the divisional officer will be given his or her resources, will be set some guidelines, and then there will be the issue of accountability, because the divisional officer will be expected to produce at a minimum standard”.
Commissioner Forbes noted that this would represent a significant change in the role of area officers. “At present, the area officers sometimes.intervene everyday in the activity of the division,” he noted. This, Mr. Forbes said, would change. The role of the area officer would be to help set policy guidelines, and to give the divisional commander the necessary latitude to get the job done.

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