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JIS News

Plans are in place to introduce 36 additional police personnel, called Resource Officers (SROs), to the Safe Schools Programme by June 2007. Currently, there are 114 trained SROs serving 92 schools island wide.
Superintendent, Norman Heywood, coordinator of the police component of the Safe Schools Programme, told JIS News that the increase was to ensure that there were no shortages in the system in cases of administrative leave or illnesses, and to provide for those schools, which wanted to be part of the programme.
“We have about six to eight schools that are on the waiting list to have persons trained and then sent to their school,” he added.
Suitable candidates will be recruited through their respective divisions and the recruitment exercise will be carried out by the community relation’s branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which will assume responsibility for monitoring the programme.
“For now, we are just putting in place plans to do the training,” Superintendent Heywood informed, noting that, the “expansion is dependent upon the availability of personnel within the JCF”.
The Superintendent maintained that he wanted to keep the progamme functional, consequently, personnel would be drawn from all divisions including the Mobile Reserve and they would operate on a rotational basis.
He said the Mobile Reserve would be essential to the programme because, “if there are schools within their patrol zones, they can develop a good relationship with the staff, which will enable them to drop by and offer solutions to problems.”
The Safe Schools Programme was introduced in November 2004 and is a government initiative to tackle the problem of violence in schools.