JIS News

More police will be visible on the streets in the coming weeks, as their current ‘desk jobs’ will be filled by some 350 civilians. This was announced by Dr. Peter Phillips, Minister of National Security at yesterday’s (November 7) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
Dr. Phillips pointed out that these civilian posts would free up the police personnel to undertake street duties, and that this represented an important response to the level of crime being faced by the country, which is driven by organised crime.
“The only response to it is to enhance investigation, put more police on the streets, take the criminals off the streets through successful prosecution and conviction, and it was felt important that we bring this decision to a speedy conclusion,” he said.
Dr. Phillips noted that matters have arisen from that decision, such as locating the necessary office space within the Force, among others. “We have to look at the appropriate Force deployment, the Force structure, and the officers in relation to the men and women in the rank and file under their command. All this is very important in view of the fact that we don’t just want people to be recruited so to speak, but we also want to be able to have their most efficient use,” he said.
The Minister also informed that the specific proposals regarding the levels of personnel for the different units of the police and the ratio of officers to men and women and the necessary costing that would be incurred in putting the whole of this plan together, would be brought to Cabinet shortly.
The JCF will begin their recruiting efforts to have the civilian men and women in place for training at the earliest possible time.
Dr. Phillips also gave an update on the graduate entry component of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). “As I indicated in my contribution to the Budget Debate, we are going to restore the graduate entry component and we advertised for some 30 posts for graduate entry, and there were some 300 applications, so we will be putting a pretty intense recruitment drive in place in the next few weeks,” the Minister said.
Cabinet has also agreed to increase the members in the JCF from 8,500 to 10,000 over the next 18 months, and thereafter to 12,000.
“The decision will bring Jamaica’s police establishment closer in line to the level of establishment across the Caribbean and other countries and will certainly provide the basis for putting more police on the streets,” the Minister informed.