NOT TRUE

News

NOT TRUE

JCF counters district constables' claim of neglect, says $300m spent on welfare of cops since 2018

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Senior staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


THE Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) says it has spent in excess of $300 million on the well-being of its members since it established a welfare branch two years ago.

The disclosure was made by head of the branch, Assistant Superintendent Raymond Wilson, following a Jamaica Observer article last week reporting a claim that District Constable (DC) Lothan Richards was left to fend for himself after being injured in a shoot-out between gunmen and police in Horizon Park, St Catherine, on June 12, which left two other cops dead.

“It is not true that he has been left on his own. We have been taking care of him. We have been taking care of all costs associated with all his medical care among several other support that we have been giving him,” Wilson insisted.

He said District Constable Richards was taken to hospital and released that very same evening.

“He was visited by the commissioner and a team from the high command, to include myself, very early the following day, so was another member who was injured and was still in the hospital,” said Wilson.

He said arrangements were made the same day for Richards to receive private medical care, adding that this is the norm within the organisation.

“In the instance of District Constable Richards, not only was he sent daily for dressing, he had several follow-up visits for doctors to make a proper determination to treat his injuries, and, of course, [last week] Wednesday he underwent surgery to remove bullet fragments from his leg,” Wilson said.

On Friday, the Observer reported that some district constables said they were not being treated fairly within the JCF.

The Observer was told that district constables were being asked to carry out the same duties as regular lawmen, despite earning smaller salaries.

“Based on where you are assigned, whatever the department entails, that is what you do. They don't say, 'you're a DC so do less work', but once it comes on to benefits, they tell you that you are not a police. They say degrading things to make you feel less than. Certain health benefits they tell you only police can get — only police get housing, travelling, and years of service,” one of the district constables, who asked not to be identified, said.

The DC pointed to the operation in Horizon Park which left Detective Corporal Dane Biggs and Constable Decardo Hylton dead, Superintendent Leon Clunis seriously injured, and District Constable Richards needing surgery.

Richards, the DC had claimed, had been left to fend for himself since the incident.

“We have been supporting him. In fact, even before surgery all his medical needs, all his pharmaceutical needs [were] being taken care of by us. It is a policy of the JCF to take personal care of our members, especially when they are injured in the line of duty,” Wilson mentioned.

The former Jamaica Police Federation chairman, at the same time, noted that the welfare branch was specifically set up by Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson three months after taking office in March 2018 to look after members who “complained” that they were injured in the line of duty but were not being assisted.

“Since then, we have dealt with quite a large number of members, some of whom were injured from way back in the early 90s and who complained that they weren't getting much attention. Today we can say that we've spent in excess of $300 million to take care of members who have been, and who were injured in the line of duty, and District Constable Richards is no different [from] any of those members,” Wilson said.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT