JIS News

On September 5, some 35 young men will begin training to join the ranks of one of the most elite security forces in the country – the Port Security Corps.
Speaking with JIS News, Lorri-Ann Nicholas, Human Resources Manager at the Port Security Corps disclosed that this batch of recruits would be the third set of recruits to be trained this year, as two batches were trained in August.
She further outlined that the young men would undergo a rigorous four-week, eight hours per day training exercise to prepare them for the demands that are placed on officers of the Corps. They will receive instruction from various experts and specialists in the security forces (Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force), maritime sector, Customs and Port Authority.
“They will be trained in topics such as air and maritime documentation, human and public relations, cargo-handling procedures, arrest procedures and practical report writing,” Mrs. Nicholas explained.Continuing, she outlined that the training exercise would also cover other areas such as “internal cargo safety, terrorism, recognition and description of dangerous drugs, recognition of explosive devices, drug concealment methods, civil aviation, customs regulations, disaster preparedness, shipping laws, and other procedural standards”.
While conceding that this was a significant amount of material to be covered within the four-week period, she said that this curriculum must be finished before the recruits are passed out, “because our employees are required to meet international standards”.
“Our officers are required . to protect our ports of entry from any terrorist activity or the movement of illegal goods. We have been set up in such a way that there is a focus on the national interest, so the training is more intensive because we expect them to be held to a higher standard than to just be a guard,” Mrs. Nicholas emphasised.
In addition, instruction in the rules and regulations governing the maritime and air transport sectors was just the first part of the Corps’ training programme, as the recruited officers must then receive on-the-job training to put the theory into practice, she told JIS News.
In August, the two batches of young men graduated from the Corps’ training programme, which was held simultaneously in Kingston and Montego Bay. The 55 young men were immediately deployed to some of the island’s air and sea ports.
The 25 officers who graduated in Kingston have been sent to APM Terminals, while the 30 graduates from the western region were sent to the Sangster International Airport and the Montego Bay Freezone in Montego Bay.
“For the next three months, we are going to be evaluating them and ensuring that they do the hands-on training, in addition to the theory that was done in the classroom,” Mrs. Nicholas said.
According to the Human Resource Manager, becoming an officer in the Port Security Corps was a very simple process, open to people from all walks of life – UWI/UTech students, persons who were previously employed as security personnel and even high school graduates. The organisation requires at least three CXCs, including English and Mathematics.
If the academic criteria are met, the Corps conduct security background checks as well as fingerprint checks on all applicants to ascertain if they have a police record, she informed JIS News.
“In addition, they are tested to determine where their headspace is in terms of the nation, security and legal matters,” she noted.
Once the applicant passes all the necessary tests and completes the training programme, he graduates as a security officer with the Corps. The Port Security Corps currently employs 529 security personnel islandwide.
Young men interested in becoming officers of the Port Security Corps may call 967 5366-9.