Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Major Richard Reece, has urged the most recent graduates of the Jamaica Police Academy to strive to erase the perception of corruption which hangs over the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Major Reece’s message was delivered by Head of the Corporate Services Directorate of the Ministry of National Security, Angela Buchanan, at the Passing out Parade for 65 new constables at the Academy, Twickenham Park , St. Catherine.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington (second right), inspecting a Guard of Honour formed by graduates of the Jamaica Police Academy, during their Passing Out Parade at Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, Friday (February 19). Other officers pictured are Commandant of the Jamaica Police Academy, Senior Superintendent, Bishop Gary Welsh (third from right) and Superintendent Michael Smith (right).
He said the new constables were worthy of commendation and support, having demonstrated their determination to succeed and having taken upon themselves the sacrificial task of crime fighting. However, he told them that they were entering a security force above which a cloud of suspicion lurked.
“Undeniably, dark shadows have been cast over the Jamaica Constabulary Force, but you can be that beacon of light to dismiss the pall of gloom lingering over this noble institution. I therefore urge you to let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works,” he said.
Constables from Batch 87 march past the reviewing officer at their Passing Out Parade at the Jamaica Police Academy, Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, Friday (February 19). Sixty-five new constables were added to the Jamaica Constabulary Force with Friday’s Passing Out ceremony.
He pointed to recent incidents of corruption in which police personnel have been implicated, saying such incidents help to fuel the perception that the entire police force is corrupt.
Major Reece also noted that there were some cops who were just as responsible for the bad perception of the force through their silence.
“Graduates, the sin of omission can be as great as the sin of commission..all across the world police dislike turning in other cops because they don’t want to be labelled as informers. Honest cops must be willing to blow the whistle,” he insisted.
The Permanent Secretary reiterated that the Government was determined to stamp out corruption in the force, and asked for the cooperation of the entire force.
“I exhort you to stay focused, stay on top of your game and try not to be swayed or demoralised by the scope of organised crime,” Major Reece said. He also encouraged them to act with self-control and tolerance and to ensure that they do not abuse their power.