JIS News

Commissioner of Police Lucius Thomas has unveiled several measures aimed at improving the level of professionalism within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
According to Commissioner Thomas, the objective was to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and conduct of members of the force to enable better relations with the public lessening the incidents of conflict between the two groups.
Commissioner Thomas, speaking at a press conference at the Police Officers Club on Hope Road in Kingston this morning (Feb. 4), said that in keeping with the objectives, plans for the establishment of the Professional Standards Branch were being fast tracked.
The move, he said, would involve the merger and rationalization of resources contained within the Inspection Branch, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and the Bureau of Special Investigations.
Commissioner Thomas informed that the Professional Standards Branch was crucial to ongoing efforts to build a professional workforce. The core functions of the branch, he outlined, would include carrying out research and developing policies as well as coordinating strategic planning and development.
It will also be expected to provide legal services and advice to the force, effect improvement in areas of performance and resource management, and investigate police misconduct and corruption.
Additionally, the Commissioner said, the Professional Services Branch would play a key role in the implementation of the anti-corruption strategy, which would come on stream in the second quarter of 2005.Commissioner Thomas also announced the appointment of Assistant Commissioner of Police Keith Gardener to accelerate the review regarding disciplinary proceedings within the force, which is already underway.
Stating that he had “no taste for the use of fear as a leadership strategy”, Commissioner Thomas said members of the force, who executed their duties diligently and in line with the principles of the Police Citizens Charter and Code of Conduct, had no need to be fearful of having their actions scrutinized.
“Those who make genuine mistakes in the execution of their duties should not be afraid of scrutiny,” Commissioner Thomas pointed out.
He however, warned that the “small percentage of ignoble members of the force who bring the good name of the force into disrepute through corrupt practices (should) take heed or suffer the consequences.””Make no mistake, even the private citizen who offers bribes to these lawmen will bear the brunt of the anti-corruption policy,” he continued.
In attempting to allay the fears of law abiding Jamaicans, he assured that greater levels of cooperation, trust and harmony was being sought through programmes already started.
Commissioner Thomas further noted, that the task of managing and controlling crime was a corporate responsibility.
The Commissioner, who was hosting his first press conference since succeeding Francis Forbes in January, also unveiled several measures to effect greater control and management of crime and disorder.

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