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Story Highlights

  • The museum, which is housed at the library of the training school, showcases artefacts collected over the JCF’s 146-year history.
  • The idea for a museum was borne out of a study he conducted on the history and culture of the JCF and its impact on Vision 2030.
  • Much of the historical and cultural objects that are housed in the museum were donated by retired members of the Force.

The rich legacy of the more than 100-year-old Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is being preserved, with the opening of a Police Museum on the grounds of the Jamaica Police Academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.

The museum, which is housed at the library of the training school, showcases artefacts collected over the JCF’s 146-year history. It was opened on Tuesday, November 26, as part of activities for Police Week 2013 and celebrate its milestone anniversary.

Assistant Commissioner in charge of Training and Chief Chaplain, JCF, Bishop Dr. Gary Welsh, informed that the idea for a museum was borne out of a study he conducted on the history and culture of the JCF and its impact on Vision 2030.

“And, in going through that exercise, I came upon several bits and pieces of artefacts and several stories that I thought would be good to add to the (already thriving collection) that we have,” he stated.

ACP Welsh told JIS News that the museum also materialised out of Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington’s insistence that a home is found for the force’s large collection of artefacts.

“We have had collections of artefacts over the years. In fact, the first collection was in 1967 when the JCF celebrated its centenary. We lost a lot of those, unfortunately, but we were able to recover bits and pieces, brought them together, and Commissioner Ellington insisted that we find a home for the artefacts and (create) a museum,” he said.

ACP Welsh informed that much of the historical and cultural objects that are housed in the museum were donated by retired members of the Force, “and some others are relics from offices that we’ve come upon”.

“So, what we have done is put them together, created a nice collection and made it the JCF museum, as we celebrate our 146th anniversary,” he informed.

He noted that the museum was opened as a tribute to the past members of the JCF and also serves as a token to those officers, who will come after.

“In 1967, 984 men joined the JCF and they have left us a rich legacy over the years and we think in tribute to their contribution and for us who will come afterwards, we should preserve this as part of our rich history,” he stated.

He informed that part of the collection at the museum also includes statements from some 100 retired officers, who have scripted their stories of their journey and experience with the JCF.

“When I did my study on the history and culture of the JCF, for data collection purposes I interviewed 150 officers. One hundred of them gave their statements in writing, stating the day they joined, what the conditions were like, where they served and their experiences,” he informed.

“Having done that and having this great collection, I thought I would put it together as part of the data source,” he said.

ACP Welsh said the response to the museum has been “tremendous”. “Surprisingly, the museum is more fascinating to the retired officers, as they come back and they are able to connect with relics of the past,” he said.

In the meantime, ACP Welsh appealed to the public, particularly former members of the JCF, to donate any artefacts they may have to the JCF museum.

“We would be honoured to receive them. I know how very valuable these are and if they don’t want to part with them, we can keep it for them and give them a receipt and they can always come back for them if they want to,” he stated.

He also invited the public to “come on in and view our museum and learn part of this rich history of our great Jamaica Constabulary Force”.

Police Week is being observed from November 24 to 30, under the theme: ‘Enlightened by our past, Enriching the Present, Envisioning the Future’.

Members of the JCF are using the occasion to renew and recommit to the partnership it shares with the public as it celebrates its 146th anniversary.

The JCF began operations in 1867 with some 984 members, under the direction of an Inspector General appointed by the British Governor to the island.

The JCF is responsible for the maintenance of law and order, the prevention and detection of crime, the investigation of alleged crimes, the protection of life and property and the enforcement of all criminal laws as defined by the Jamaican penal code. The JCF also provides general assistance to the public, as needed.