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332 new constables to be deployed

A total of 332 new constables who graduated from the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ) in St. Catherine on Thursday, March 5, will be deployed shortly to strengthen the work of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Addressing the graduates at the passing out parade and awards ceremony, National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang, said the Government is investing in modern technology and forensic science to support the work of the police in solving crimes.

“Police stations will be connected by fibre, long-term evolution (LTE) and microwave communications systems. Police stations will be equipped with computers, closed-circuit television (CCTV) and modern station diaries. By utilising technology and science as a force multiplier, we will enhance your capacity to identify and apprehend criminals with irrefutable evidence that will lead to increased convictions, and we expect these technologies will make your work easier,” the Minister said.

“We are taking the police stations into the 21st century. We are confident we have young men and women of calibre and intellectual depth to operate such a police force and restore public safety in our communities and begin to ensure the sustainable reduction in violence,” Dr Chang said.

The Minister also noted that work to improve the physical infrastructure of the island’s police stations is to be undertaken.

“We are redesigning the police stations to be modern well-equipped working offices. The intention is not only to improve staff morale but also to restore the confidence of the public in the JCF as an institution,” he said.

Critical to this objective, the Minister argued, is the application of non-lethal tools in policing activities.

“A key aspect of the technological changes are the non-lethal tools that you will receive as part of the new toolkit for effective 21st century policing. This will include a multipurpose, handheld device that can write and print tickets and communicate with the police radio system anywhere across the island. With this device, you will be able to measure decibel levels, run a licence plate number and verify photo identification. All this will be at your fingertips while you are on duty on the road,” Dr Chang said.

“This will improve your efficiency and capacity to deal with lawbreakers. A police officer on duty should be properly equipped. As a government, we intend to provide you with the tools you need to assist you in effectively getting your job done,” he added.

The Minister pointed out that the Government is also in the process of acquiring a new fleet of motor vehicles and motorbikes for the JCF.

Additionally, he said the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) is to be further developed and expanded over time as part of efforts to restore public order on the nation’s roadways, communities and across the island.

Noting that the new constables have joined the JCF at a time when the Force is undergoing significant internal restructuring to strengthen capacity to deal with criminal activities, as well as to improve efficiency, morale and professionalism of JCF officers, he charged them to serve with professionalism and integrity.

“You have come on board at a time of change, transformation and new opportunities within the JCF. We are creating a new culture of policing in Jamaica, one that is distinct and unique to our country. ‘Brand Jamaica’ is strong enough and has the intellectual capacity to create that kind of culture within our law-enforcement agencies,” the Minister said.

The graduation ceremony included the presentation of trophies for outstanding performances.

Constable Leighton Williams and Woman Constable Monique Jarrett were recognised for best all-round performance. Woman Constable Jarrett was also recognised for best at drill. Others awarded in this category were Constables Marvin Lawrence and Jonathan Hendricks and Woman Constable Deandra O’Hara.

Constables Otis Reid and Marco Graham were recognised for best marksmanship principles.

The award for highest mark obtained went to Woman Constable Jihan Simpson and Constable Marco Graham.

Woman Constable Erica Brown and Constable Kevin Harris were awarded for best leadership qualities.