JIS News

Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie, has challenged graduating municipal police officers to carry out their jobs without fear or favour, but to do so with compassion.
Mayor McKenzie, delivering the keynote address at this afternoon’s graduation (April 3) of 23 Municipal Police officers, at the police training facility, Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, said that they should endeavour to avoid the lure of corruption in whatever form.
He said that contrary to what some people may believe, the establishment of the Municipal Police Force was not an indictment of the Island Special Constabulary(ISCF), nor should it be seen as a replacement.
“The ISCF still have their role to play. They’re still going to work with the Local Authorities, but we need this level of enforcement, so that we’ll be able to cover more areas,” he said.
Formed under the Local Government Reform Programme in 1999, the Municipal Police Force has over 100 persons who have already been trained, certified and dispatched to a number of parishes, enhancing the capacity of the Councils to act efficiently and effectively on their own.
Mayor McKenzie said that persons appointed as municipal police officers should not consider it as a licence to go out and disrespect other Jamaicans, and treat them as if they are of no importance.
“In order for you to gain the respect and the love of the people, then you first have to go out there and earn that love and that respect. The baton, the uniform and the badge don’t give you the right and you don’t want to force that kind of respect, you want to earn it,” he added.
Mayor McKenzie also stressed that their role was not simply revenue enhancing, but to prevent the flouting of the law. He said that once they make people aware of the law, then they would fall in line.
He issued a stern warning, however, to the graduating class on behalf of Councils islandwide, that no level of corruption would be tolerated by the Local Authorities.
“Don’t fall prey to anything that people will offer to you. You are out there to carry out your duties. The Councils will take the strongest action against anyone that is found in any form of corruption, and I want to challenge and beg you to stay far from it,” he pleaded.
He said that he would not tolerate Municipal Police Officers “running down” or trampling on the rights of poor people, in the hope of creating notoriety for themselves, and becoming human predators.
He also pledged that there would be no form of political interference in their work.
Mayor McKenzie said that a code of conduct provided by the Councils would be the officers’ guide. He said that, if any one harboured personal feelings against any member of the public, they should not use the uniform as a disguise to extract vengeance.
He also highlighted some of the challenges they would face including building violations, illegal cell sites, illegal garages, vending in areas not prescribed for vending and barbers and hair dressers operating without proper licenses.
The 23 Municipal Officers, nine men and fourteen women, will be dispatched to the various Councils, islandwide.

Skip to content