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The effectiveness of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and Jamaica Defence Force’s (JDF) Polygraph Unit has been strengthened with the donation of two motor vehicles and polygraph equipment by the Canadian Government.

The items were handed over on Wednesday October 17, 2012 by Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Robert Ready, following a tour of the unit, located on the grounds of the JCF’s training academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.

The donation, which comprised two brand new Toyota RAV4 Sports Utility Vehicles, a polygraph machine, and office equipment, is part of an ongoing programme of support valued at approximately $59 million or ($705,000 CAD) by the Canadian Government to the JCF.

The objective is to make the Polygraph Unit a centre of excellence for training in the use of polygraph applications in the Caribbean. Previous funding from the Canadian Government enabled the establishment of the unit, with training and equipment provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Police College.

National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting expressed gratitude for the assistance, pointing out that Canada and Jamaica continue to share a mutually beneficial and longstanding relationship.

He noted that the Canadian government has been instrumental in the country’s efforts to raise the quality and standards of the police force.

“This initiative has done a great deal in changing the image of the JCF over the last five years to one that is now established as a professional organisation and one that is intolerant of corruption among its membership,” he stated.

Mr. Bunting noted that the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), under which the Polygraph Unit falls, has demonstrated that “it is not afraid in taking action against any police officer, who is behaving improperly”.

This, he said, has undoubtedly helped to improve professionalism among JCF members.

In his remarks, Mr. Ready noted that his government iss committed to playing a leading role in assisting Jamaica’s anti-crime and anti-corruption efforts.

He noted that this most recent donation is to ensure that the security forces’ polygraphers have the very best and latest equipment to work with.

Mr. Ready informed that a further donation of computers and state-of-the-art lecture theatre equipment will go towards outfitting the lecture room that “we plan to construct in the very near future”.

Additionally, three candidates from the JCF and the JDF have been selected to travel to the Canadian Police College in Ottawa for training in polygraph techniques in January.

This, he noted, is in addition to a recent course administered by the college to re-certify and upgrade the skills of the two polygraphers on staff at the JCF.

The Canadian government has also committed to increasing the number of qualified polygraph operators at the Unit, through training, from two to eight over the next three years, in an effort to meet the demand for truth verification in the security forces.

Since 2007, Canada has supported the work of the Polygraph Unit and the JCF’s Anti-Corruption Branch. Construction of the unit was funded in part by the European Union, the Canadian and British high commissions.