Gov’t Hires New Forensic Pathologist

Photo: JIS Photographer National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, emphasises a point while addressing the commissioning of a Cessna aeroplane for the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF), at the Caribbean Aviation Training Centre situated at the Tinson Pen Aerodrome in Kingston on Friday, September 23. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • The Government has hired a new forensic pathologist to assist in reducing the backlog of autopsies.
  • This was disclosed by National Security Minister, Robert Montague, during an interactive session with heads of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on January 17.
  • Meanwhile, Mr. Montague informed that 20 lawyers will be hired, with one assigned to each police division. He explained that the lawyers will liaise with the courts, assist in preparing cases, and accompany officers in the cases where they are called for questioning by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

The Government has hired a new forensic pathologist to assist in reducing the backlog of autopsies.

This was disclosed by National Security Minister, Robert Montague, during an interactive session with heads of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on January 17.

In the meantime, Minister Montague said the Government continues to provide the police with crime-fighting equipment and will be purchasing 3,500 ballistic vests and 2,000 helmets.

He informed that 40 dogs will be acquired from Cuba to assist with search and rescue as well as to sniff out drugs and guns. He said members of the force will be sent to Cuba to receive training under this initiative.

Mr. Montague said the number of police recruits will be increased this year and training facilities will be refurbished. An additional 1,000 persons will be recruited for the Jamaica Defence Force (JCF), while more correctional officers will be hired.

“We are going to be moving up the strength of the police from approximately 11,000 to 14,000 over four years. We are increasing the intake this year; we want to train upward of 800 men and women this year,” he said.

He noted that recruits for the JCF and the correctional service “will be 100 per cent vetted”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Montague informed that 20 lawyers will be hired, with one assigned to each police division. He explained that the lawyers will liaise with the courts, assist in preparing cases, and accompany officers in the cases where they are called for questioning by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

“I don’t want any police officer to fear INDECOM. In the last quarter, INDECOM closed 70 files. Against 65 of the cases, they said no charge; the police officer acted in the right and proper way,” he noted.

In the meantime, Mr. Montague said the Ministry will be rolling out several strategies to retain more police personnel.

“Too many of my officers are resigning – some for stress, some working too long – and because the numbers are low, people have to be doing longer shifts and put on more stress,” he said.

He urged members to seek professional assistance for colleagues if they realise that they are facing undue stress.

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