88 potential police recruits fail polygraph screening

88 potential police recruits fail polygraph screening

Thursday, August 25, 2016

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COMMISSIONER of Police Dr Carl Williams yesterday disclosed that 88 of 191 potential recruits to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) recently failed the required polygraph screening for enlistment.

The JCF, in April, introduced polygraph screening for recruits as part of its strategy to prevent corrupt or tainted individuals from joining its ranks.

"Not so long ago, as part of our efforts to polygraph everyone who applies to join the JCF, I sought the help of the US Embassy, because our polygraphers were unable to handle the large volume of potential recruits. They never hesitated.

"US polygraphers were here within a few weeks and by mid-August they had already examined 191 potential recruits of which 103 were found suitable for enlistment in the JCF. There were significant doubts about the other 88 that made them unsuitable to become members of the JCF," he said during the launch of Body Worn Camera Project at the Office of Commissioner of Police on Old Hope Road in St Andrew.

In April, Williams told the Jamaica Observer that there was high concern about corruption within the force. Statistics given then revealed that, in 2014, a total of 41 members were arrested and charged with various crimes, while 27 were arrested in 2015, and seven up to April this year.

"While not all 88 were found to have criminal links, there were some who had been actively involved in lottery scamming; others were affiliated to gangs. There were persons who had handled illegal guns, and some were habitual thieves," he said.

The commissioner said many of these potential recruits received "glowing recommendations from justices of the peace and ministers of religion and other ‘upstanding residents’ as citizens in their communities".

He argued that they would very likely have made it into the JCF and would have further corrupted the force.

"We would be stuck with them for the next 30 or 40 years. But thanks to the polygraph we won’t have to worry of those types coming into the force anymore," he said.

The commissioner also had strong words for potential recruits with smeared history, whom he said would not succeed in joining the organisation he heads.

"All who are seeking to become members of the JCF and who are from some shady backgrounds, don’t try your luck here. You will not beat the polygraph. And with the support from our international partners most notably the United States, Canada and Great Britain we will polygraph every single applicant to minimise the risk of populating our force with wrong [doers]," said Williams.

— Kimone Francis

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