JIS News

Twelve officers, who have completed an intensive three-week training programme at the Police Academy at Twickenham Park in St. Catherine, have been added to the St. James Parish Council’s municipal police force.
The officers, who are soon to be sworn in as Special District Constables, were trained in behavourial subjects and procedures in relation to their roles and functions. These included: introduction to constitutional law, the Parish Councils Act and regulations, code of ethics, powers of arrest and safe encounter, case file preparation and traffic management.
The officers were also exposed to training in first aid and disaster preparedness and emergency management, as they have been designated ‘first responders’ in the event of a disaster or emergency situation.
The scope of responsibility of the St. James municipal police is to be widened to include collection of property tax, trade licence fees, and building enforcement, which would involve serving persons with stop orders and enforcement notices.
In congratulating the new municipal officers at a recent function, Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St. James Parish Council, Noel Donaldson noted the gradual breakdown of law and order in the society over the years.
“We all have to be committed to making Jamaica a better place and you as municipal officers, who are engaged in service to community, must ensure that your integrity is above reproach. You are the face of the Council, so any reproach will be extended to the council,” Mayor Donaldson said.
Secretary/Manager of the St. James Parish Council, Ian Reid told JIS News that with the recruitment of additional municipal police officers, the Council would begin enforcement in other areas of the parish that were not previously tackled, especially in rural St. James.
“The St. James Parish Council will be vigilantly dealing with illegal development of property and construction of building. The task will be to ensure that each development receive the requisite approval and permit for building from the Council and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA),” Mr. Reid stressed.
The St. James municipal police was established in August 2004 to ensure enforcement of the regulations of the St. James Parish Council, such as those that fall under the Places of Amusement Act, the Parochial Roads Act, the Road Traffic Act, the National Solid Waste Management Act, and the Public Health Nuisance Act. The police also enforce metered parking regulations, monitor sale of goods in unprescribed area (vending), hairdressers, barbers, and butchers.