Jamaica News: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has been undergoing a strategic transformation that augurs well for the welfare of police officers and the organisation’s image.
Speaking at the Jamaica Police Federation’s 76th annual conference at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on May 29, Mr. Holness pointed out that as part of the ongoing transformation, Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, has implemented several initiatives, and there are some in the pipeline that will be implemented over time.
“There is a deliberate, planned and strategic intent to transform and to change the JCF, and the Jamaica Police Federation is an integral player in the transformation of the Force,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Holness noted that the implemented initiatives have already been reaping rewards.
“Already, the JCF is changing before your very eyes. You may not see, you may not even believe it, but your organisation is changing to become what we all want it to be – a force for good,” he told the many policemen and policewomen in attendance.
“There was a time when you could not turn on your radio or your television and not see someone decrying the JCF, particularly as it relates to police killings,” the Prime Minister added.
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Mr. Holness said the perception of the JCF as a brutal force in changing, and it is now at the point where citizens are thinking differently.
He noted that the violent perception of the JCF was prevalent for much of its 151- year history; however, in recent times, that has changed, partly due to the efforts of the organisation’s leadership, which took a serious look at the JCF’s operational procedures and use-of-force policy to ensure that officers are changing the way in which they use force.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister informed that the Commissioner has implemented a new welfare department to address the issues of rank and file officers.
“This is very important because the conventional thinking of the force that existed for many years was that welfare was not the responsibility of the administration of the JCF,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister noted that officers are prone to non-communicable diseases because of the nature of their jobs, and, as such, he has pledged to provide funding for the construction of gyms for JCF members through his Positive Jamaica Foundation.
“I know that the Commissioner has already started discussions to ensure that for those members who want to have access to gym facilities, that access can be put in place, and sometime ago, I had made a commitment to assist with a gym, but in speaking to the Commissioner, he said that one gym cannot help,” the Prime Minister said.
“So, the commitment that I am making now is, through my Foundation, which is separate from anything to do with Government, I will work with the Commissioner and the Federation, to make a small contribution towards the access to gyms right around the country, ” Mr. Holness told the police officers.
For his part, Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the Government is committed to improving the working environment of the police officers, citing the ongoing construction and rehabilitation of several police stations across the island.
This, Dr. Chang said, is to ensure that officers can perform at their optimum.
Source: JIS News