The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is seeking to increase its numbers from 8,500 to 12,000 personnel by 2008.Speaking with JIS News, Senior Superintendent of Police and Commandant of the Jamaica Police Academy, Kingsley Robinson, is encouraging Jamaicans between the ages of 18 and 30, who are physically fit to become members of the JCF.”The Police Force is offering a new and challenging opportunity to persons who believe they have what it takes. The country needs men and women who are honest, upright, dignified and who seek new opportunities in life,” he continued.
A total of 1,500 personnel are expected to be recruited in 2006, “just in time for Cricket World Cup 2007,” he informed. The additional numbers required to bring the complement to 12,000 would be recruited during 2007 and 2008, the Senior Superintendent disclosed. In the meantime, there are 175 persons at the Academy in Twickenham Park undergoing a 32-week basic training course; another 125 is expected by March 5, with the final batch of approximately 400 to be enrolled by October this year.
The recruits would undergo intensive training that, “involves an academic component, laws and procedure, physical education and weaponry”, Mr. Robinson noted. “We look at training, course content, relevance, how it is offered and the way forward,” he added. He pointed out that the curriculum offered by the college is “constantly reviewed” and the revision is made, “at the end of every batch turned out by the Academy”. “We also take into consideration all observations made and criticisms and put them into context and (then) devise appropriate training,” he noted.
Mr. Robinson informed that HEART/NTA has designed a training programme for the JCF, and he hoped that it would be implemented with those persons now in training. While the JCF is looking to fill the posts of Constables, he said that there were programmes earmarked to accelerate and improve the training of officers to satisfy other posts that were now available.
“We have the graduate entry course that is scheduled for later. We have an internal graduate course that is going on now and a promotion course that is slated to begin. these courses are all geared toward recruiting members of the JCF not below the ranks of Inspector,” he told JIS News.
Recruits should possess four Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) subjects, including Mathematics and English. These general requirements aside, Mr. Robinson informed that applicants are mandated to sit and pass an examination set by the Academy. However, if candidates do not have the requisite subjects, they are encouraged to do the examination notwithstanding.
Suitably qualified entrants should be proportionately built and their height commensurate with size and body weight. Previously, the application guidelines stipulated that men should be at least 5 feet 7 inches in height, while women should measure 5 feet 5 inches. However, the Senior Superintendent announced that this, “has been relaxed somewhat”.
All police officers undergo the same level of training. Specialization is not considered until after two years of employment and this is only when officers have identified a division in which he/she is interested. Already, a recruitment drive has commenced in Portmore and will be continued islandwide.