- The Police Service Commission is to formalise the incorporation of former officers of the ISCF within the JCF when it meets on Friday, May 16.
- The transition process will be fully concluded once the Commission gives its approval for the ISCF officers’ enlistment into the JCF.
- All members of the ISCF, from the officer corps to constables, have now signed contracts to become members of the JCF.
The Police Service Commission is to formalise the incorporation of former officers of the Island Special Constabulary (ISCF) within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) when it meets on Friday, May 16.
Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, made the announcement at a post-Sectoral press conference at Jamaica House on Wednesday, May 14.
He noted that while the merger “is effectively complete”, there are “a few things that we will need to tidy up”.
“Ultimately, we are going to have to repeal the Special Constables Act; but that won’t prevent anything, operationally or administratively, from happening. The Police Service Commission is meeting this week to deal with the transfer of officers and I think, operationally, the merger is effectively complete,” he said.
The Minister explained that the transition process will be fully concluded once the Commission gives its approval for the ISCF officers’ enlistment into the JCF.
“Even though they (the officers) have already signed on, and voluntarily accepted their transfers, the gazetting cannot take place until the Police Service Commission meets because in the JCF Act, it’s not the Commissioner who appoints officers (from inspector up); it is the Police Service Commission. So the gazetting of officers will take place after that,” he outlined.
Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, noted that all members of the ISCF, from the officer corps to constables, have now signed contracts to become members of the JCF. This is with the exception of a few members between the ranks of sergeant and constable, who are on vacation leave abroad.
In the meantime, Minister Bunting noted that based on discussions with the leadership of the ISCF and JCF, the merger was a “unanimous agreement that was desirable”.
“We started an extensive process of consultation, and we even had external consultants come in and do things like the rank equivalents between the ISCF and JCF. We started from as early as 2012, engagement of the ISCF Association and the Officers’ Association, the leadership of the ISCF. I have spoken at their general meetings two years in a row, preparing them,” he said.
The Minister noted that every attempt was made over a two-year period, to address the concerns that were raised regarding the merger.
He pointed out that, in fact, there were no wide-spread objections to the merger, noting that there was more than 90 per cent compliance for those members who had an opportunity to voluntarily transfer.
Minister Bunting said there are a few people who “perhaps, because of more individualised sorts of concerns, they were anxious” but not necessarily opposed to the merger.
“Even in the ISCF Association, when they applied for the injunction, they stated that they were not objecting to the merger going forward; but I think they…perhaps felt a bit overwhelmed. But that is behind us, the ISCF Association members themselves signed on within a few days after the court threw out the original injunction,” he pointed out.