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A year into its establishment, the Internal Affairs/Anti-Corruption Division of the Professional Standards Branch (PSB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has been meeting its mandate.
This is evident by a number of gains, including the arrest of some 43 police officers on charges of misconduct, with one conviction, while another 40 cases against officers are still before the courts.
Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips made this disclosure yesterday (May 30) during his contribution to the 2006/2007 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House.
Minister Phillips explained that since its formation in 2005, the PSB’s Anti-Corruption Division has been pursuing an aggressive anti-corruption drive aimed at ensuring that incidents of police misconduct were dealt with promptly and with transparency.
He pointed out that the capacity of the PSB should be strengthened by way of the direct involvement of one of the International Police Officers (IPO’s) with specific responsibility for dealing with anti-corruption.
“It is expected that the newly created Police Civilian Oversight Authority, which will begin operation shortly will further contribute to the rebuilding of public confidence,” the National Security Minister said.
Turning to the matter of building a more professional cadre of police officers in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, he revealed that plans were being made for the “re-branding” of the Force given the expected addition of 3,500 officers over the next three years.
“We will be taking the opportunity offered by this increase to introduce a comprehensive programme of re-branding to attract a higher level of recruits, upgrade the curriculum and extend the period of training for all levels in the Force to achieve the desired levels of professionalism,” Dr. Phillips informed members of the House.
He pointed out that the entry requirements for Constables at the Jamaica Police Academy were being upgraded and that curriculum for basic recruit training, were also being revised. The revision, the Minister said, would see the expansion of subject areas required for modern policing in the country’s complex social environment and in keeping with international standards.
“New formal relationships which have been established with local and international tertiary institutions will enable the staff college to deliver a range of courses to international standard for JCF officers island wide,” he added.
Citing additional measures that are being pursued to improve the professional standards in the Force, he said these included the reintroduction and expansion of the graduate entry programme to attract new talent from outside the Force above the entry level.
Other measures, he said, also included “the introduction of an internal graduate development programme to acknowledge, reward and utilise the skills of serving members who pursue tertiary level studies on their own; and an accelerated promotion programme for young officers with at least five years experience who show promise, aptitude and initiative.”