Police Civilian Oversight Authority to Stage Public Meetings


The Police Civilian Oversight Authority (PCOA) will be staging a series of public meetings, to hear the concerns of community members with regards to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and provide for discussion with senior members of the force.
“These forums will be shaped in such a way that they would bring together both the police senior command level in a particular region along with the key persons within the community,” said Chief Executive Officer for the PCOA, Richard Black. “We expect the forums to deliver information of what we are about and afford an environment for discourse,” he told JIS News in London recently. Describing the proposed meetings as “a small step but a giant step at the same time,” Mr. Black said that the aim is to ensure that the wider public develops confidence in what the agency is about and integrity in the processes that the authority will embark on. “The forums will help us by telling us some of their (community members) thoughts and concerns and what they would like to see in their communities,” he added.
Mr. Black and PCOA’s Senior Director, Captain Craig Barham, were in the United Kingdom this week for the 8th Performance Management of Police Conference, in addition to meetings with a range of connected agencies including the Home Office, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and the Police Standards Unit. “We met with the Kent Police Service and the Kent Police Authority and during the course of the days, we had numerous significant meetings with a variety of persons across different police services and connected entities representing the wider Great Britain,” Mr. Black told JIS News. He said that they came away from the meetings “with a plethora of information, much of which has actually helped to steer us in a direction and corroborate some of the thoughts that we had, as we go about trying to steer the direction of the PCOA.” Captain Barham, in the meantime, said the authority, in addition to assessing the JCF, will be setting broad goals for the force. “To bring improvement in performance you have to know what you are measuring.
There is no point assessing if you have not set goals. The JCF will be given a format so they will know what we are looking for. It is something we have to work out jointly with them because you can’t impose a performance management system. There has to be input from the people, who it is going to affect,” he reasoned. He noted that the broad goals should be attainable over a 10-year period. Caption Barham said at the end of the day, the goal is to have a professional citizen-focused police force that has the full support of the public.
In keeping with the Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority Act of 2005, the main functions of the Authority are to: monitor the implementation of policy relating to the force and the auxiliaries; monitor the standard of performance of the force and the auxiliaries, so as to ensure that internationally accepted standards of policing are maintained, and to report thereon; conduct inspections of the force and the auxiliaries; monitor the management and use of the financial and other resources of the force and the auxiliaries; and perform such other functions as may be necessary for promoting the efficiency of the force and the auxiliaries.

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