Former Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas, is to take up the position of Police Welfare Co-ordinator at the Ministry of National Security, in order to advocate on behalf of the many members of the force who have served and are still serving the country with distinction.
Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, made the disclosure as he addressed the 69th Annual Joint Central Conference of the Jamaica Police Federation, at the Breezes Hotel in Falmouth, Trelawny, on May 17.
Mr. Bunting said that members of the police force experience the highest levels of stress, and they are expected to perform fully.
“This high stress environment is not common to every worker in the public service, so I think that there is a strong case (for the Welfare Co-ordinator)… and I will be advocating on your behalf and ensure that it is handled with the greatest urgency and seriousness,” the Minister said.
“When I met with the Central Executive of the Police Federation, I was surprised that, apart from issues of concern about greater benefits, probably equally frustrating were areas where they already had benefits, but accessing them is so bureaucratic, so frustrating and sometimes it is taking years,” he added.
The Minister explained that the Police Welfare Co-ordinator would be assessing the police welfare needs, working to remove the obstacles in accessing existing benefits and develop recommendations for new welfare initiatives.
“He will liaise between government agencies, whether it’s the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of National Security or even the Finance branch within the JCF to unblock whatever is due to the members,” Mr. Bunting said.
The Minister encouraged members of the Federation to demonstrate creativeness, initiative and responsibility going forward.
By Glenis Rose, JIS Reporter