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Fifteen students from troubled communities across the island have benefited from $150,000 in scholarships from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), to assist with their back-to-school expenses.
The donation was made as part of the JCF’s annual scholarship award programme.
Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas, in his address at the presentation ceremony held at his Old Hope Road headquarters in Kingston this morning, said that the awards, valued at $10,000 each, were in addition to a further $150,000 dispensed to needy students in St. James, St. Mary and the corporate area for the new academic year.
The Police Commissioner said that the contribution was a show of confidence in the ideal that education was the key to the nation’s development and could effectively reduce crime and criminal activities among youth.
He noted that despite the police being vilified as “uncouth, unkind, visionless, brutal and unconcerned about the rights and well being of people,” the Force had a social conscience, which was demonstrated daily by its members through their altruistic service in various forms.
Commissioner Thomas said that the effort by the JCF over the past four years, to assist students from economically challenged communities with back-to-school preparations, was part of the Force’s social intervention strategy, which involves moving beyond operational activities and becoming socially involved in the life of citizens.
The Police Commissioner said it was recognized that policing went beyond investigating crimes and bringing offenders to justice to touching the fabric of every sector of the society.
“It means therefore, that we cannot be oblivious to the social, cultural, political and economic dynamics of the Jamaican society.we are about changing lives and creating opportunities for young people,” Commissioner Thomas noted.
He further encouraged the recipients to make the best use of their educational opportunities.
The presentation ceremony was also used to announce the establishment of the Horace Robertson Memorial Fund, in honour of the late Assistant Chaplain of the JCF. The fund will benefit children of JCF members slain in the line of duty.
The fund will also provide a yearly grant to a student of the University of the West Indies, who is a top performer in Ethics, a course that was taught by the late policeman.