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  • Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) are to benefit from academic programmes and other educational initiatives through the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus.
  • The Commissioner added that many individuals who apply to join the Force are also holders of degrees.
  • He said studies done in the United States indicate that police officers who have earned college degrees demonstrate better overall job performance and have greater advancement opportunities than their colleagues without.

Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) are to benefit from academic programmes and other educational initiatives through the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus.

This will be facilitated by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was signed by Commissioner of Police, Dr. Carl Williams and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, at the Commissioner’s office in St. Andrew, on August 8.

Dr. Williams emphasised that higher education for police officers is one of the most important pillars in the professionalisation of police services across the world.

“The future state of policing in Jamaica will call upon officers to be much more enlightened academically and technically.  Otherwise, how will we be able to meet the growing challenges presented by cybercrimes and other sophisticated organised criminal networks,” he said.

Dr. Williams noted that more than 1,000 members of the JCF are holders of at least bachelor’s degrees, while there are many others with multiple degrees, including graduate degrees.

The Commissioner added that many individuals who apply to join the Force are also holders of degrees.

He said studies done in the United States indicate that police officers who have earned college degrees demonstrate better overall job performance and have greater advancement opportunities than their colleagues without.

Dr. Williams also noted that other studies reveal that educated police officers use less force as their first option to gain compliance, and demonstrate a greater level of creativity and problem-solving skills.

“This is certainly not to discount the many thousands of police officers with few or no academic qualifications, yet who have served the JCF with distinction and who are imbued with the attribute that you won’t find in university courses, such as commitment, bravery and plain old common sense,” he said.

Dr. Williams noted that the MOU marks the beginning of a new era in law-enforcement training, not just for the JCF but also for the wider Caribbean region.

“The MOU is a landmark development, in that it will increase access of police officers to higher education and put a higher degree well within the reach of officers who would otherwise not be able to access one,” he said.

For her part, Dr.  Longsworth said the institution will be working closely with the JCF to assess the needs that exist.

She argued that with the increase in cybercrime, lottery scamming, among others, it is paramount that officers are equally trained to address these issues.

There are 10 updated and well-equipped Open Campus country sites. They are located at Camp Road, Mona, Brown’s Town, Mandeville, May Pen, Montego Bay, Morant Bay, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio and Savanna-la-Mar.

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