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Plans for the proposed merger of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) are far advanced, said Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting.

"A team comprising JCF, ISCF, and Ministry officials is now finalising the implementation plan for approval by Cabinet," he said.

[MORE: Bunting outlines Rationale for Proposed Merger of JCF and ISCF]

Making his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 17, Mr. Bunting said the merger is one of the Government’s approaches to creating a more modern police service.

He noted that the ISCF was established as a part-time auxiliary force that would support the JCF during peak policing demand periods; however, over time the ISCF has evolved into a full-time force, which no longer justifies a separate chain of command.

"In practice, almost 1/3 of the ISCF is already operationally integrated into various divisions of the JCF and the conditions of service are very similar. Many studies/reports conducted over the last 20 years have recommended that the two organisations should merge," he said.

He noted that criminal organisations constantly evolve and innovate, so the police must be even more flexible and adaptive to successfully combat them.

"We recognise that the traditional, hierarchical structures of the JCF and ISCF, together with the old laws that brought these organisations into being, are no longer ideal for today’s realities," he stated.

He noted that it is for this reason that the government and opposition agreed in 2009, to bring the management and supervision of the JCF and its auxiliaries under one modern statutory body called the Police Management Authority. This would involve, among other things, combining the Police Service Commission and the Police Civilian Oversight Authority to form this new body.   

 

By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter