Merger of ISCF and JCF Enabling Stronger Law Enforcement

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting (right), listens as Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, highlights a point regarding crime statistics for the last five years, while addressing journalists at a post-Sectoral Debate presentation press conference hosted by the Minister at Jamaica House, on Wednesday, May 14. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, says the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) now has more resources and manpower to boost its various operations.
  • The Commissioner noted that the expanded JCF can now increase its protection of the agricultural sector by beefing up farm patrols.
  • The Commissioner further informed that all the JCF’s divisions will now be able to build out their “hot spot policing” operation, which is to be carried out in those areas plagued by gang violence.

Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, says the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) now has more resources and manpower to boost its various operations, following the merger with the Island Special Constabulary (ISCF).

“We can now eliminate quite a number of duplicated administrative support functions, which were necessary as we maintained two structures. By eliminating those duplicated functions, we have additional resources which can (be) put on the front line which is where the greatest demand for police service is,” he explained at a recent press conference at Jamaica House.

The Commissioner noted that the expanded JCF can now increase its protection of the agricultural sector by beefing up farm patrols. Additionally, he pointed out, the police now have the capacity to build out its beat and foot patrol formation, as well as increase its traffic duty and highway patrol.

He said the integration of the ISCF and the JCF, will now allow for additional police personnel to undertake more patrols in market districts island-wide. In addition, there is to be increased police presence in transport centres, and tourist resort areas.

The Commissioner further informed that all the JCF’s divisions will now be able to build out their “hot spot policing” operation, which is to be carried out in those areas plagued by gang violence.

Also, the school resource officer programme is to be expanded, with additional personnel now available to deal with school violence and discipline.

Meanwhile, he said vital infrastructure security is another area that the police will give more focus to. These include protection of airports, sea ports, and infrastructure having to do with the development of the logistics hub.

The Commissioner added that major road infrastructure, such as Highway 2000 and the North/South link, are now being factored into the work programmes of the police.

He stated that the merger came “at a very good time when the demands on the service are actually expanding with indications that they will expand even greater in the near future”.

Mr. Ellington remarked that the amalgamation of the Forces “ has gone very well, better than it would have gone in most smaller organisations and these,  two very large, complex and aged organisations  have managed to complete that process in a matter of days”.

The Commissioner pointed out that much work was done internally to prepare officers for the transition process, noting that these “new regulars” can now be exposed to a broader range of policing activities.

He noted that internally, significant work has been done to prepare personnel for additional training to close skill gaps; provide mentorship; and facilitate re-assignment. Personnel have also been attached to teams, and more experienced officers, to bring their skill sets up to the level required to eventually perform on their own.

The Commissioner informed that the JCF’s programmes have been restructured to integrate all the functions, which were previously performed by the ISCF exclusively, such as the public order and agro protection functions. These, he said, have now been incorporated into the work programmes of community police stations.

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