Promotions and the JCF

Monday, August 27, 2018

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Dear Editor,

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has just completed the first round in a series of examinations for promotion from the rank of constable through to sergeant.

The talk over the years has been how hard it is to be promoted and how this contributes to low morale, caused also increased work and insufficient salary. The force has 11 ranks starting at constable and ending at commissioner.

Promotion comes through two channels: — direct recommendation by the commissioner and by successfully navigating the rigorous examination process.

Some cops are denied promotion due to behavioural issues or politics. A check within the police force would reveal cops who have held one rank, most times constable, for more than two or three decades. Some have found out, after diligent study, that passing the promotional exam does not guarantee automatic promotion, as the volume of applicants by far exceeds the vacancies available.

The JCF has moved away from the primitive days when big foot and body could get you in. Now, applicants are equipped with academic qualifications from CSEC distinctions to university degrees.

If these qualified individuals have to wait indefinitely for the privilege of being promoted, we will always have a problem with attrition. Outsiders are capitalising on the expertise of Jamaican officers by recruiting them to serve in top positions in their countries, but locally the bright and experienced men and women of the JCF are left to gather dust in the ranks of the station.

The present commissioner, Major General Anderson, was not from the ranks of the JCF. Let us see how he will counter demotivation within the force.

Maxine Hylton

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