JCF over­haul wel­come

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: I WRITE in re­sponse to an ar­ti­cle car­ried in The Gleaner on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 16, with the head­line “New face com­ing for JCF next year, force to be turned into ‘po­lice ser­vice’’.

Af­ter nu­mer­ous years of prom­ises to re­view the Con­stab­u­lary Force Act of 1935, the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) has re­leased doc­u­ments in­di­cat­ing that the An­drew Hol­ness administration will be con­duct­ing a full leg­isla­tive re­view of the act. This is many years com­ing, and I am cer­tain that, like me, many mem­bers of the force wel­come the pro­posed changes. What is even more re­fresh­ing is that this should lead to the tabling in Par­lia­ment of a Po­lice Ser­vice Act by Oc­to­ber 2017.

For decades, there have been talks about the ref­or­ma­tion of the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force (JCF), but that is all it was – just talk, no ac­tion. This bold move could stim­u­late growth within our po­lice force and econ­omy, and I wel­come it with open arms. It’s about time our po­lice are fully equipped with the tech­no­log­i­cal re­sources they need to ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently con­duct their jobs.

Re­ports have shown im­prove­ments in the ca­pac­ity of the po­lice force for re­search and anal­y­sis but have also pointed to ob­sta­cles such as lack of trans­parency in data gath­er­ing and shar­ing. I can’t stress how im­por­tant it is for the po­lice to ac­quire the ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy to help to make their jobs eas­ier and more ef­fec­tive.

There is a lot of stigma as­so­ci­ated with the cur­rent name and struc­ture of the JCF. The days of kick­ing down peo­ple’s doors are long gone. I hope these changes will bring new life and di­rec­tion to the po­lice and mo­ti­vate them to bet­ter serve and pro­tect. SHARON SIL­VESTER shar.sil­vie@gmail.com Kingston 6

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