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National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, has charged new recruits of the police force to maintain the highest standards of professional excellence, integrity and discipline in discharging their duties.

He pointed out that the Government has been undertaking a wide range of initiatives aimed at transforming the force into a professional, accountable and resourceful body, which can effectively deliver on its mandate.

This transformation, he said, cannot succeed without the cooperation and commitment of every personnel, including new recruits.

The Minister was speaking on Friday, March 22, at a passing out parade for 183 recruits of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), held at the Jamaica Police Academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.

According to Mr. Bunting, strides have been made in improving some of the operational issues that have continued to affect policing in Jamaica.

Among these, he noted, is the matter of staffing, informing that the Government has been working to increase the number of personnel attached to the JCF over the past year to build logistical and operational capacities. “We have continued to train at the highest sustained rate in memory,” he pointed out.

He noted also that the Government has improved force mobility by acquiring more vehicles, and maintaining a steady programme of repair and replacement of the fleet.

The Minister stated that these strategies are being carried out to ensure that crime levels remain low, pointing out that the crime rate for 2012 was the lowest in nine years.

During the ceremony, four of the constables were recognised out for their outstanding performances during the training period.

They were: Special Constable Christopher Murray, who received the Para-Professional Counselling Award; Special Constable Alton Tulloch, who displayed the Best Christian Principles; Constable Tarik Pyrce, Best Leadership Qualities; and Woman Constable Coneil Bell, who received the Highest Mark Obtained.

The group comprised 60 JCF females, 74 JCF males; and 49 ISCF males, who successfully completed five months of training.

They gave a spectacular display of drilling techniques to the delight of the hundreds of family members and well-wishers, who attended the ceremony.