A total of 202 additional police constables will shortly be deployed across the island, to strengthen the work of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), following their graduation on November 9.
The constables were recognised during a passing out parade and awards ceremony, held at the Jamaica Police Academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
Five of the constables were also singled out for their outstanding performances during the training period. These included: Constable Dayne Blackwood, who received the Para-Professional Counselling Award; Constable Michael Hutchinson, who displayed the Best Christian Principles; Constable Kemados Marsh, Best Leadership Qualities; Constable Shyan Evans, Highest Mark Obtained; and Constable Adrian Bailey, who got the award for being the Best Shot.
Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, in his address, urged the graduates to “maintain the highest standards of professional excellence, integrity and discipline in discharging their duties."
“Recruits, you can, and I know you will, make a difference to the future of Jamaica. Be courageous, be honest, be caring and know that you are doing one of the most important and necessary jobs to ensure the safety and security of our beloved country,” he said.
Mr. Bunting pointed out that the Government has been making considerable strides in improving a number of the operational issues that have continued to affect policing in Jamaica.
Among these, he noted, was the issue of staffing, and that the Government has been working to increase the number of police personnel attached to the JCF over the past year.
He informed that the 202 graduates are among some 760 recruits trained by the JCF this year, in addition to 300 district constables. The Minister said this represents the highest number of recruits in any one year, further pointing out that the JCF now has a total of some 9,124 members.
Additionally, Mr. Bunting said the administration had taken action to improve the mobility of the island’s security forces within the last year, committing a total of $600 million to the purchasing of vehicles. “This amount is more than the previous three years put together,” the Minister said.
In the meantime, Mr. Bunting pointed out that Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, has been emphasising the relevance of leadership and professionalism among members of the JCF.
“This is something I know the Commissioner is constantly fine tuning…by putting a lot of effort into training his senior and middle commanders, so that they can demonstrate that leadership within the divisions, and also that they can model and demand the professionalism from their rank and file,” he said.