JCF Celebrates 150 Years

Photo: R. Fraser In this file photo, National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague (centre), reviews Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) recruits who were on parade during their Passing Out and Awards Ceremony at the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ), in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine last year.

Story Highlights

  • Over time, the institution has utilized technology to boost its operational efficiency in a bid to further enhance national security and citizens’ safety.
  • Mr. Montague says to further improve the operations of the police, approximately 200 additional vehicles, as well as more ballistic gears, such as vests and helmets, will be acquired.
  • ACP Welsh adds that the JCF’s success has been a collaborative effort involving stakeholders who have assisted in securing resources to assist with the organization’s engagements and build trust which, ultimately, has resulted in increased transparency and improved decision making.

For 150 years, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has championed the fight against crime.

Over time, the institution has utilized technology to boost its operational efficiency in a bid to further enhance national security and citizens’ safety.

Acting Police Commissioner, Novelette Grant, tells JIS News that technological advancements have greatly changed police operations.

“Law enforcement now is significantly different than when I joined the force in 1981. Back then we didn’t even have computers,” the Acting Commissioner points out.

She notes that the JCF’s engagements have transitioned beyond the use of basic core policing activities to include technological devices such as a cell phones and the incorporation of scientific inputs like Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing.

Ms. Grant points out that DNA testing has been successful in the investigation of several high profile cases and has proved to be very effective in combating criminality.

This, she adds, along with improvements in other forensic capabilities, such as the use of the fingerprinting system has enabled the JCF to effectively investigate matters, apprehend offenders and close cases. This, she further stated, stands out as a notable achievement.

Additionally, modernization projects such as the e-station diary initiative and upgrading and expansion of the telecommunication system, inclusive of mobile radios, are other strategies that have been employed, to great effect, to improve crime fighting.

The use of General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), which includes service vehicles being retrofitted with the technology to respond swiftly to calls, was also introduced.

It enables the police to identify the location of a call and determine the fastest and safest route to get to persons requesting assistance.

The technology also helps the police to record the location of their traffic stops and crash investigations. This information has been used to determine how enforcement efforts can be better targeted towards decreasing the incidence of traffic crashes.

Ms. Grant says progress is also being made in how the JCF manages and applies intelligence to its work.

“We have adopted better strategies and have harnessed the resources to improve our communication internally and externally,” she explains.
For his part, National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, hailed the JCF’s growth and lauded its members for their tremendous sacrifices in ensuring that law and order is maintained.

“The police have endured less than ideal working conditions, dealt with resource challenges, faced dangerous situations and, in some cases, given the ultimate sacrifice- their lives, to serve and protect the citizens of this country.”

He encourages citizens to partner with the police to create a safe and peaceful Jamaica.

Mr. Montague says to further improve the operations of the police, approximately 200 additional vehicles, as well as more ballistic gears, such as vests and helmets, will be acquired.

He advises that the procurement process facilitating these acquisitions is underway. The Minister indicates that community policing has also been expanded through the JCF’s Community Safety and Security Unit.

Additionally, 800 new members will be recruited and 20 Attorneys-at-Law hired to assist with case preparations for court, among other duties.

There are also plans for the deployment of mobile police stations to crime hot spots, while about 400 police personnel will be trained in domestic violence and conflict resolution.

Mr. Montague says the Government remains committed to fighting crime and ensuring that the latest strategies, social interventions and technologies are administered to improve the security.

Meanwhile, JCF Chaplain, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Gary Welsh, in also acknowledging the JCF’s growth, says the service provided by the police is a “key component in promoting domestic tranquillity and stands as a guarantor of ordered liberty.”

He notes that commemoration of the 150th anniversary captures the stories relating to the JCF’s history culture, and positive and negative experiences. He, however, underscores the progress they have made.

ACP Welsh adds that the JCF’s success has been a collaborative effort involving stakeholders who have assisted in securing resources to assist with the organization’s engagements and build trust which, ultimately, has resulted in increased transparency and improved decision making.

The JCF celebrates its 150th anniversary, with a yearlong celebration under the theme: ‘Our Journey 1867 to 2017’.

JIS Social