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No fall-out expected for Polygraph Unit funding

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS Observer senior reporter dunkleya@jamaicaobserver.com
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

THERE is not expected to be a fall-out with the Canadian funding and training partners of the constabulary's Polygraph Unit despite an allegation that a senior police officer assigned to the unit was caught cheating in a recent promotional examination.

The assurance came last week from Senior Superintendent of Police Selvin Hay, head of the Anti-Corruption Branch, which has responsibility for the Polygraph Unit.

There were fears that funding from the Canadian partners — who are due in Jamaica on August 27 — could be withdrawn in light of the allegation that the police officer was ejected after he was allegedly seen with pre-written notes on soft paper two Wednesdays ago at the Police Academy in Twickenham Park, Spanish Town, St Catherine. The officer has since been suspended.

SSP Hay, however, told the Jamaica Observer that there was no need to fear as the Canadians will remain onboard.

"The Canadians are still in support of going forward with the programme and supporting it, so there will be no fall-out apart from with the individual, as it relates to whatever will be done in his regard, but otherwise the programme continues," he said.

Asked if this meant the planned training would take place, he said "definitely".

In the meantime, the future of the senior officer at the centre of the investigation might be less rosy.

"This has a lot of implications for the person, so I am just hoping we can all deal with it in a very fair manner. After the investigation I will tell you what will happen," SSP Hay told the Observer.

He was, however, unable to say when the investigation would close. "I am not au fait with the details of the investigation, but that is the action we have taken so far, we have removed him away from the unit and he is gone on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The officer, who was ranked highly in the unit, was said to be one of three members of the security forces chosen to man the unit, having received international polygraph certification courtesy of the Canadian Government.

Only in May this year, the Polygraph Unit was boosted with the injection of approximately CAD$705,000. The money, donated by the Canadian Government, was to be used for training, equipment and upgrading work, with the objective of making the unit a centre of excellence for training in the use of polygraph applications in the Caribbean.

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