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Twenty-one graduates from a five-week municipal police training course at the Jamaica Constabulary Force Staff College at Twickenham Park, St. Catherine are to assume duties with the St. Catherine, St. Elizabeth, and Manchester Parish Councils.
The graduates are the third batch to have completed the Municipal Training Programme, which commenced in 1999. To date, 84 persons have completed training and been assigned to parish councils islandwide.
Municipal police officers are trained in government laws and regulations, parish council operations, and the use of attendant tools such as handcuffs and batons, and techniques of submission and arrest. The training also focuses on personal development, inclusive of deportment, communication, public speaking, first aid, and customer service.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony on Friday (July 18) at the Police Academy, Director of Resource Mobilisation and Revenue Enhancement, at the Local Government Department – Calvert Thomas, disclosed plans to train between 50 and 55 additional persons as municipal police officers by October. He also advised that an advanced supervisory training programme for persons with supervisory skills and aptitude is slated to be held at the Academy later this year.
Mr. Thomas urged the graduates to maintain their integrity in carrying out their duties. “It’s a job that continues once you’re in the uniform and out of uniform. You are examples of what we expect persons of your calibre to be,” he said.
Guest speaker, Senior Lecturer of Sociology in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Mona – Dr. Orville Taylor told the graduates “to be fearless but fair” in dealing with the public.
“Do not use your personal grievances as excuses for ‘bad-treating’ people. Remember the period of your life, before the uniform. Remember that before the uniform you were in the category where you were discriminated against. do not continue the cycle,” Dr. Taylor implored.
He further told the graduates to continue elevating themselves and, in so doing, build their character and personality. “It doesn’t matter where you are right now. what matters is how far you can go,” he advised.