The Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) capacity to respond to incidents of domestic violence has been bolstered following the successful training of 24 police personnel under the Domestic Violence Train-the-Trainer Course.
These law officers, who are the first cohort, were trained over five-weeks. They were pulled from police divisions three to five, the Chaplin Services Branch, the Community Safety and Security Branch and the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).
Among the topics covered were the psychology of self, training development, fundamental concepts in gender-based and domestic violence, and the relevant laws and supporting regulations.
It is expected that the course participants will develop training sessions at their respective divisions and teach their colleagues how to effectively address reports of domestic violence.
A Domestic Violence Handbook, completed through support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was issued to each officer, as well as the divisional branches of the force.
At the graduation ceremony held at the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ) in St. Catherine on Friday (July 21), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Jacqueline Dillon, informed that a new Domestic Violence Training Manual is being developed, which will enable the police to address the crime more effectively.
“We’re now in the process of putting together a new training manual and it should be ready by the end of next month,” she said.
Representative for the UNFPA for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, Elizabeth Talbert, in her remarks, noted that “one in every four persons has been affected by gender-based violence.”
She commended the course participants and urged them to use the training to help domestic violence victims.
“This training has prepared you to be able to assist victims and [work with] perpetrators…it has prepared you to be able to train others to address this issue,” she pointed out.
Constable Andrew Williams, who was one of the valedictorians, said the “knowledge gained over the past five weeks will indeed follow us everywhere.”
“We vow to be kind and we will share this knowledge and ensure that every police officer within our reach benefits from what we have learned. We guarantee that nobody will be left behind,” he pledged.
The training was done through the JCF’s Domestic Violence Intervention Centre with funding support from the United Nations (UN) Spotlight Initiative, which aims to eliminate violence against women and girls.
CONTACT: CHANEL SPENCE