JIS News

Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, has urged citizens to play a more active role in maintaining the professionalism of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), and rooting out indiscipline.
He was speaking at a function held on the premises of the May Pen Police Station in Clarendon, recently, where Alcoa Foundation, through Jamalco, presented the JCF with approximately $5.5 million in equipment and support, to enhance policing efforts.
Rear Admiral Lewin said the police would have to be viewed as a friend, in order to partner with communities to solve the problem of crime and violence plaguing the country.
“Part of the whole strategy with the transformation of the police force, is changing the whole philosophy, the face of policing – where the police officer is a friend of the community, is a friend of citizens, is a partner.partnership is what it is going to take for all of us to slowly erode the challenges of crime and violence. So it means that the business community, the police civic committees, (and) citizens, must support these committees, the neighbourhood watches, the citizens working with the police, the police working with the citizens to solve problems,” he asserted.
Commissioner Lewin said the ‘concept’ of ‘hard policing’ versus ‘soft policing’ would have to be erased, as it was a fallacy, and police personnel are either professional or unprofessional in the execution of their duties.
“So the hardest, toughest member of the mobile reserve, because he is trained to a higher degree of paramilitary operations, it does not mean that he must disrespect, that he must abuse. Hard policing, there is no such thing,” he stressed.
Commissioner Lewin said that while technology will increase the effectiveness of police personnel, they still have a duty to operate in a responsible, professional manner.
“Technology is great, but no technology is any panacea for issues. It is going to come down to that individual officer, who uses his head, who is smart, who is observant, who is well-trained, who is respected, who respects the citizens, the citizens trust him to pass on information. It all comes down to that single officer on the beat, who is well dressed and who is businesslike,” he stated.
He emphasised the need for citizens to play their role in keeping the police accountable, by immediately reporting any act perceived to be contrary to the prescribed code of conduct.
“It is important that citizens report… you are the watchdogs of the police. If you keep it to yourself, and then you wait for the Commissioner because you hear he is coming down next week or some other person and so on, and you mention it, it is almost of no use.. you have a duty to report, as quickly as possible. It is only when you do that, that required action can be taken as quickly as possible, in order to identify, and to jump on it right away,” Commissioner Lewin implored.
He said together the concerted effort of citizens and the Government would “change the face of policing to bring about a force that is professional, that is intolerant of corruption and that is citizen focussed”.

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