The operations of seven of the island’s Parish Councils have been significantly boosted by the addition of 25 newly recruited municipal police officers to their staff.
The group, comprising 17 males and eight females, graduated after completing a six-week municipal police training course at the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Academy at Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
They have been assigned to the Trelawny, St. Elizabeth, St. Thomas, Portland, Westmoreland, St. Mary, and St. Elizabeth Parish Councils.
Addressing the graduation ceremony at the Academy, on May 31, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Robert Rainford, encouraged the graduates to be resolute and professional in executing their duties.
“You must carry out your functions impartially, reject indiscipline, renounce dishonesty, and resist temptation that will, no doubt, come your way as persons seek to deter you from your duties. Your duties are important to the success of the local authority and your parish. In performing your functions effectively, you are doing your part to improve the governance of your community,” he said.
Mr. Rainford pointed out that the officers will be required to support the activities of the local authorities to which they are assigned, by enforcing municipal laws and regulations, maintaining public order, supporting revenue generating efforts, and assisting in disaster management activities.
“These functions impact the lives and development of the community. As such municipal police officers (in carrying out these duties) provide a community service,” the Permanent Secretary said.
In his remarks Director of Revenue Enhancement and Resource Mobilisation in the Ministry, Calvert Thomas, underscored the officers’ roles in enhancing the Councils’ revenue collection capacity.
“They will assist each Council in realising additional revenues because of the work that they are called upon to do. But let me invite councillors and administrators to recognise the fact that these persons are not money collectors,” he stated.
The training course covered some 25 topics which included: police techniques; court procedures; statement writing; local government laws and regulations; parish council operations; proper use of tools such as handcuffs and batons; and techniques of submission and arrest. It also focused on personal development, incorporating deportment, communication, public speaking, first aid, and customer service.
The graduates were each presented with certificates and special awards.
CONTACT: CHRIS PATTERSON