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Since the beginning of 2008, a total of 63 persons have graduated from the Police Training Academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, to take up duties as Municipal Police in the 14 Parish Councils islandwide.The latest batch of 32 persons completed their three-week training course, and graduated from the academy on February 29. They will serve the Parish Councils of St. Thomas, Portland, Trelawny, Clarendon, St. Catherine and Portmore.
The Municipal police received training in regulations, which govern local authorities. They will be expected to issue tickets to offenders under the National Solid Waste Management Authority Act, particularly those who litter the streets. Other tasks include ensuring that barbers and hair dressers comply with the terms set out in their licences, regulate the display of billboard and advertising signs, ensure that vending is carried out in prescribed areas only, identify building breaches and serve notices, and serve assessment notices and summons in relation to property taxes.
Director General in the Local Government Unit, Devon Rowe, who gave the keynote address, urged the graduates to carry out their tasks diligently, and to maintain their integrity in executing their duties.”At the end of the day, you can’t get enough salary to replace that integrity. You can’t get enough from anyone who wants to put you on the wrong track. Once that integrity is lost, it’s gone forever,” he told the graduates.
The Director General reminded them that when faced with a disgruntled client, they should remain calm and deal with that person in a professional manner, because when the matter is settled, they would receive more respect.
“This is your opportunity to serve and serve with distinction, by turning the challenges into opportunities,” Mr. Rowe told the graduates. They were also addressed by Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Andrew Wheatley and Mayor of May Pen, Milton Brown.
Both Mayors challenged the graduates to maintain their integrity and to become part of the movement toward an orderly society.”Do not compromise yourselves, because at the end of the day you cannot buy integrity,” Dr. Wheatley emphasised.
Mayor Brown said the graduates would be working closely with members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to make sure that public order is maintained in the towns.
“I want you to understand that 90 per cent of the people in the communities want order, and the few who will seek to discourage you in your work are indeed the few. Rest assured that the authorities and the councils and the great majority of the population support you in what you are going to do,” he said.