- Jamaica’s crime fighting efforts have been significantly bolstered with the official opening of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency’s (MOCA) polygraph centre.
- The facility was constructed and equipped at a cost of more than US$1 million, with funding support from the United States and Canadian Governments.
- The unit is the first of its kind in the Caribbean and is regarded as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for polygraph work in the region.
Jamaica’s crime fighting efforts have been significantly bolstered with the official opening of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency’s (MOCA) polygraph centre.
The facility, which was constructed and equipped at a cost of more than US$1 million, with funding support from the United States and Canadian Governments, is located on the grounds of the National Police College of Jamaica, in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
The unit is the first of its kind in the Caribbean and is regarded as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for polygraph work in the region.
National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, said the unit will undoubtedly build on the successes achieved by MOCA and other agencies to strengthen the overall security and anti-corruption architecture of Jamaica.
Mr. Bunting, who was speaking on Thursday, October 30, at the opening ceremony, said the facility will also house a regional polygraph school, where forensic polygraph skills will be developed and honed.
He noted that the polygraph examiners attached to MOCA will, therefore, become the leaders and teachers for the entire region.
For his part, Commissioner of Police, Dr. Carl Williams, said he regards the centre as a major part of plans to transform the culture of the JCF and to root out corrupt cops from within the force.
He explained that moving forward, the plan is to introduce polygraph testing as a part of the vetting process for new officers.
“As we go about building a new culture, we are going to have to get police officers coming into the force to see polygraph testing as a good thing and something that must be embraced by all,” he said.
Dr. Williams further expressed gratitude to the Governments of Canada and the United States for their continuous assistance in the establishment and maintenance of the centre as well as the training of the examiners.
Canadian High Commissioner, His Excellency Robert Ready, said the Canadian government is pleased to partner with Jamaica and other international partners in the fight against corruption and major organised crime.
He noted that the Canadian Government has contributed towards the construction and specialised equipping of the facility as well as the training of the polygraph examiners.
Charge d’Affaires, US Embassy, Elizabeth Lee Martinez, informed that through the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics Law Enforcement, the US Government has contributed a total of US$550,000 towards the establishment of the unit. The contribution was made under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.
Director General, MOCA, Desmond Edwards, informed that since the establishment of the polygraph unit, a total of seven polygraphers have been trained and are now deemed fully accredited forensic polygraph examiners.
He said an additional four polygraphers are slated to commence training early next year. “These polygraph examiners have been fully engaged and since the functional establishment of the unit, they have conducted a total of 2,007 examinations,” he stated.
Mr. Edwards said the majority of these examinations have been conducted primarily within the ranks of the JCF and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). However, he informed that the unit has also assisted in the performance of polygraph exams in nine other countries throughout the region.