Police supt. suggests bonding JCF members

Jamaica Information Service (JIS)

Head of the Manchester Police Division, Superintendent Vendolyn Cameron-Powell, is suggesting that the Government consider bonding members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), to stem the high attrition rate within the organisation.

She noted that the JCF, which is currently seeking to fill about 3,000 vacancies, is losing well-trained officers to other countries that are “doing everything to recruit them.”

Superintendent Cameron-Powell was addressing a policy forum on building safe communities, staged by the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), at its Mandeville campus, in Manchester, on March 18.

She pointed out that it is costly to train officers, particularly those with specialised skills, such as Scene of Crime personnel. The Government spends $5 million to train one of these persons.

“It is very expensive to train a Scene of Crime officer and as soon as the Government spends $5million to train one, they are stolen by other persons who are able to offer (better compensation),” she said.

Superintendent Cameron-Powell noted that many officers are being lost to other Caribbean islands, and that the norm is for an officer who decides to take up an offer elsewhere, to draft his colleagues.

She pointed out that the total police force in the Cayman Islands are made up of Jamaicans,  while more than 50 per cent of the police force in Bermuda, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands are made up of Jamaicans. She added that the Special Branch of the police force in several Caribbean Islands comprise only Jamaicans.

Further overseas, the Manchester Police Division Head  said  she is aware that three trained bomb experts serving in Iraq are Jamaicans. In addition, she lamented that the JCF’s A-class drivers are being recruited by Canada.

It was also highlighted that often persons, many of whom are university graduates, join the JCF, serve for two years, then leave to work with the New York Police Department (NYPD) or Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

“This is how high level the training is (within the JCF) and persons are stealing from us, just like what is happening in the nursing industry,” Superintendent Cameron-Powell said.

In the meantime, she called on suitably qualified persons to consider a career in the JCF, noting that the organisation is seeking to recruit individuals who are not only academically competent, but mentally and physically fit.

She stressed that the JCF wants the best from the market, as it seeks to raise the standard of service, pointing out that persons are now entering  the JCF with Masters degrees.

Superintendent Cameron-Powell emphasized that persons who are academically qualified, but not physically fit, will not be accepted. She noted, however, that the height requirements may be waived from time to time, if the individual is extremely qualified.