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JIS News

More than two decades after its establishment, the Jamaica Constabulary Staff College (JCSC) has remained true to its vision of providing training to senior officers in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in such key competencies as management and leadership.
The JCSC, which was founded in 1984, acts as a responsive educational institution catering not only to the needs of various ranks of officers within the JCF who have received promotions, but also to police officers from other English-speaking countries within the Caribbean to equip them with appropriate policing knowledge.
Administrative Director of the College, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Dormah Harrison, who is also a lecturer at the institution located at Twickenham Park in St. Catherine, informs JIS News that among the residential College’s educational offerings are three core courses geared at recently promoted police officers.
The first he says, is the Regional Junior Command Course that targets entry-level managers and inspectors in the JCF, while aimed at assistant superintendents and inspectors from the other islands.
“That course seeks primarily to introduce them to principles of leadership management and supervision,” he explains, adding that in the case of the junior command course, the College “also includes operational type studies that is specific to policing, like operation management, crime management and traffic management.” The Junior Command Courses run for a 12-week period.
As for the second core offering, the Command Course which runs over a 10 week-period, SSP Harrison explains that “at the higher level for the Jamaican, it would be for the deputy superintendent, we provide them with the command course which is where officers are enlightened to how best manage a formation so a person who is slated to take command of a geographical division would attend these courses.”
He points out that the emphasis for the law men enrolled in the command courses places “greater focus on operational policing matters because we believe that they would have gotten the foundation at the junior command level, and so we build on that”.
The Strategic Command Course completes the list of three core courses, and the JCSC Administrative Director explains that the six-week course specifically caters to the rank of Senior Superintendents and Assistant Commissioners of Police and “affords them the chance to look at things from a more strategic level”.
Through a joint partnership agreement with the Bramshill Police College in the United Kingdom, the JCSC is also now offering the Critical Incident Command Course, which exposes Jamaican and Caribbean policemen and women on the whole on how to best tactically manage instances termed as ‘critical incidents’. These include riots, disturbances, and shootings.
In relation to the Critical Incident Command Course, the Senior Superintendent says Jamaican police officers are being “trained not only to deliver the course itself but to travel to the Caribbean islands, do the scoping to determine what the needs are, design the courses around those needs and then to deliver it.the nature of that course would dictate that rather than the Caribbean people coming to Jamaica, we take it to the Caribbean”.
Officers from the other island nations who are among the student complement of the JCSC, he indicates, are sent primarily to prepare them for promotion, so “they are likely sent on the course before they are confirmed in the higher rank.”
He further notes that because of how the promotional system works in Jamaica, sometimes a person might be promoted before he is sent on the course, “but he is sent on course as soon thereafter as is practicable”.
Meanwhile, in its continued efforts to further the educational abilities of police officers beyond the JCSC campus, SSP Harrison says the College has forged alliances with three local tertiary institutions, namely the MICO Teacher’s College; the University of the West Indies (UWI); and the University of Technology (UTech).
“On the MICO side, what they do for us is to prepare our officers who are instructors so they provide for them a diploma in police education. These persons are trained how to come back and deliver primarily at the academy but the training is done jointly between MICO and the College here,” he points out.
He says the partnership with the UWI sees the JCSC benefiting from a franchising agreement in which UWI offers a certificate in public administration (CPA) that is taught at the College, with the University supporting the JCSC by way of administrative work to ensure the proper running of the programme. The CPA has been in effect for three years, and already the first batch of 20 police officers have attained certification, while a batch of 12 have been enrolled this year.
The alliance with UTech had in past years, seen the University delivering an Associate Degree in police studies. However, SSP Harrison, informs, “We have renewed that relationship with them this year to take it further than just the Associate Degree up to a four-year Bachelor’s Degree.”
The Administrative Director reveals that the police college has instituted evening classes that offer CXC’s as well as O’ and A’ Level subjects for officers interested in attaining education at that level.
Furthermore, he adds that yet another higher learning initiative that the College was pursuing was the possible introduction of an Associate Degree in police science. This, he explains, is not “police management as with UTech, but a standard police science course which we hope to franchise to the other colleges across the island to allow for a policeman on completion of basic training, when he goes out to the world of work, he would have available to him the opportunity to continue his studies up to an associate degree wherever he is in Jamaica.”
He tells JIS News that the documentation that outlines the degree is already halfway complete, and is to be submitted to the University Council of Jamaica for approval shortly.
Detailing the future plans of the College, he expresses buoyant hope for the school’s physical infrastructure, which in addition to its classrooms also provides accommodation for the police officers, to eventually expand.
Based on National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips’ publicly noting that he was anxious for the JCSC to provide additional accommodation, SSP Harrison says, “I am very optimistic that in the not too distant future through the Ministry, we will see space being made available to the college to continue the work we do.”
On the matter of the school’s courses, he says “the course content will always be revised to make it contemporary to the broader policing environment so that is an ongoing process.”
He says as there is presently a great reliance on non-college staff to support lecturing at the JCSC. In the future, however he says, the institution would prefer to “have our own staff in the area of criminal justice and public administration”.
The administrator counters that while there is no shortage of qualified personnel within the JCF to assume the positions of lecturers, the demand on the officers makes it difficult for them to commit to full-time positions at the College.
Commenting on the achievements of the College, Superintendent Harrison speaks highly of its 11-year history. “We are most proud and pleased of the fact that we have improved considerably on our mandate since the 1980’s which was to deliver training to officers in management and leadership.”