JIS News

After almost 20 years in law enforcement, 2010 District Constable (DC) of the Year, Mazilyn Miller Prince, has seen firsthand what the profession can do in transforming society and the lives of young people.
Woman District Constable Miller Prince has dedicated her life to serving her community, through upholding and enforcing the laws of the country, while serving and protecting its citizens.
She believes the role of District Constable is one of the most influential tasks anyone can be given, next to being a mother.
It all started with a JIS News Television feature on police youth clubs. She explains that the programme sparked her interest in the clubs, and prompted her to write a letter to her local police station about forming a club in her St. Catherine community.
“It actually came to me one Saturday while I was watching TV,” she says. “I think it was a JIS programme and it was featuring youth clubs, and they were showing different aspects of the police youth club movement.
“The Central Village police station at that time was fairly new and I said to myself, ‘How come we have such a nice station in Central Village and they don’t have any youth clubs over here?’
Mrs. Miller Prince wrote the authorities at the station suggesting that they form a youth club to serve the needs of the community. She followed up with a visit to the station, but was told that there was no one available to organise the club. But, a few months later, she got news that they had considered the request and were planning to start a club.
She and her sisters were the only girls who turned up for the first meeting.
“There were 13 boys at that first meeting, and only one out of them had on a pair “They were little boys, they looked like they found them on the road and said, ‘come we are going to start a youth club’; and that is how the police youth club was formed in Central Village,” she recalls.
“And from there, working with the police, I found that I could give my service in that capacity, so that is how it all started,” she informed JIS News.
She was appointed a young District Constable in late 1995, and started working in Central Village in January 1996. She is now posted at the Portmore police station, which is also in St. Catherine.
She says many people are unaware of the tasks undertaken on a daily basis by District Constables, noting that they are similar to those of members of the regular force.
“There are some areas that we might not be involved in, because we are not regular police, but our duties involve everything, across the board,” she informs.
“You have District Constables who are involved in the Safe Schools Programme, we have persons who are assigned to the CIB (Criminal Investigation Branch) office and the court system; you name all the areas and there is a District Constable involved,” Mrs. Miller Prince says.
“It has been very fulfilling work so far,” she tells JIS News. “It is good working with people, because I enjoy the whole idea of learning and teaching. I know that sometimes persons are not aware of the law, and they just need someone to be patient with them and educate them.”
She says, however that her patience and capacity to teach, do not prevent her from enforcing the law, but helps her to win the respect of her community.
“I think if people were more aware and educated on what is happening, in terms of the law in our country, then maybe they wouldn’t get involved in the wrong things. So, I find myself trying to communicate in that way and I try to counsel them on the right things to do,” she remarks.
Mrs. Miller Prince has opted to work directly with the youths of her community, where she believes she has a greater chance of influencing the adults of future Jamaica.
She has been working with the Family Court for the past eight years, and says that she is a strong advocate of the government’s Community Policing Programme, as the way forward.
“I decided to work with young people, because they are going to be adults one day and, if we can start them off from this stage, then at least we can influence what kind of adults they become. So, it is sort of fulfilling working in that capacity,” she reasons.
She often meets former inmates on the road, who tell her that they appreciated her encouragement. Some have even say she has helped them to change their lives for the better.
Mrs. Miller Prince has been recognised by her peers, and the wider community, for outstanding work and professionalism as a District Constable. She recently copped the first annual District Constable of the Year Award, organised by the United District Constables Association under the theme, ‘Professionalism and Integrity’.
“I am truly delighted, excited and happy for the honour, feel very humbled and blessed,” she responds.
Mrs. Miller Prince topped a field of 17 finalists from across the island to win the Minister’s trophy, as well as a cash incentive. She was selected based on her exemplary service and exceptional performance. The judges also considered her deportment, dedication and work attitude.
District Constables are auxiliaries of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). They are appointed by the Commissioner of Police and attached to particular stations, but their powers and authority, like the regular police, extend to all parts of the island.

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