JIS News

The Ministry of National Security is seeking to create a core of community volunteers called Community Safety Officers (CSOs), who will work with the police to fight crime at the local level.
The CSOs, who in carrying out their duties, will be guided by the principles of volunteerism and civic responsibility, will facilitate the continuation and expansion of the Ministry’s crime prevention and community safety initiatives.
“As volunteers from local communities, they will act as a bridge between the police and the local community. Their role will be instrumental in helping to manage the overall levels and fear of crime and reduce anti-social behaviours,” Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, explained in his contribution to the 2007/08 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 13.
The CSOs will be responsible for conducting community audits; checking for breaches of environmental, transportation and public order rules; collecting information of crimes in the communities; and patrolling areas with members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
According to Dr. Phillips, the initiative will “inevitably entail a restructuring of the District Constables Movement, however, we will do this in a way which provides the minimum disruption, and I shall be shortly taking proposals in this regard to the Cabinet.”
He noted that the District Constable Association has agreed that any member of the Association, who does not seek to change his/her role, will maintain his/her place until the mandatory age of separation at 66 years old.
In the meantime, he informed that special matriculation requirement will be developed to enable District Constables to join the JCF or the Island Special Constabulary Force. Persons in the present complement of the District Constables may also volunteer to be CSOs.
“I want to emphasise that the core of the safety officers will be administered by the JCF and that they will be provided with basic training to allow them to perform their roles. In addition, they will have to undergo the usual background checks and provide the necessary character references,” Dr. Phillips stated.
He encouraged “all Jamaicans, who value their communities to step forward,” and volunteer as a CSO.

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