JIS News

A total of 443 new recruits of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), comprising 92 females and 351 males, received certificates and awards at a passing out parade and graduation ceremony held recently at the Jamaica Police Academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine. This is the second largest batch of graduates from the Police Academy.
Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips in his address at the ceremony, said that another 480 recruits would begin training in May and would be ready for graduation in December. Additionally, he said, 300 persons have been recruited to serve in the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF). “The first batch went into training last Monday,” he informed.
According to Minister Phillips, “government was currently reviewing a proposal from the police high command and if it were accepted, there would be an increase in the overall establishment.”
On the matter of vehicles, he said that a tender would be issued shortly to purchase additional motor vehicles valued at some $40 million, adding that during the next financial year, more funds would be added to that amount to buy vehicles.
Meanwhile, he said, the National Contracts Commission recently approved an award for work to begin on a new police facility in May Pen during April.
The Minister also announced plans to implement a new traffic ticketing system by April to ensure that ticketed persons did not evade the law. “People will find that if they don’t pay the fines or observe the law, it will become impossible for them to continue as motor vehicle operators in the country. We have to establish law and order in the country for all the people,” he stated.
Addressing the graduates, Dr. Phillips implored them to display the highest standard of integrity and to uphold the law at all times, on and off duty. “There is no one that is above the law, whether politician or pauper, whether dignitary or ordinary citizen; you have to apply the law to one and all,” he stressed.
In his remarks, Commissioner of Police Francis Forbes, said that the number of policemen and women recruited and trained under his watch was now 3,822, nearly half the number now serving the country. He added that those serving were still short of the required 8,500 approved by government.
Speaking on the modernisation and reform of the force, the Commissioner said that the final touches were being put on a new three-year corporate strategy, the second one for the force, which would be launched in the near future. The draft document is to be submitted to the Minister of National Security.
Additionally, he noted, work was proceeding on the regionalisation of the force, which would see deputy commissioners in charge of regions and assistant commissioners in charge of sub-regions, along with greater levels of autonomy and accountability for divisional commanders.
“This new development will trigger radical changes in the management of the force and ultimately useful changes in how we serve the citizens of this country,” he stated.
The Commissioner noted that recent arrests made by police officers have signalled a turn for good in the forces’ fight against the illicit narcotics trade. “It was very interesting to observe the panic among criminal-minded persons, many of whom are camouflaged as decent citizens, as they hurriedly attempted to cover their tracks,” he said.

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