BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau email@example.com
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Woman Corporal Karen Austin left the island yesterday for Detroit, Michigan, as the guest of the Brownstown, Grose Ile, Southgate and Lincoln Park Police Divisions.
Austin, a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for almost 19 years, grabbed national attention late last year when she provided food and shelter for two young children in St Elizabeth — where she works — until they were given a home by Food For the Poor.
While in Detroit, the woman corporal will participate in community policing and routine patrols, address public bodies, government agencies, schools and universities.
She is also scheduled to visit precincts and neighbourhoods with the Detroit Police Department and meet with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
During her one-week stay in Detroit, Austin — who was recently awarded the Humanitarian and Police Officer of the Year Award by the St James Police Civic Committee at the 50th Anniversary Independence Ball in Montego Bay — will also address the Allen Park Rotary Club at Baker College on Wednesday.
And later that evening, she will be honoured at an event for law enforcement at the Front Row Sports Bar.
Corporal Austin's trip was made possible by the St James Police Civic Committee and several local and Detroit-based companies.
Yesterday, several members of the St James Police Civic Committee, headed by its chairman Dr Lee Bailey, were on hand at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay to send her off.
Dr Bailey explained that Corporal Austin's "amazing demonstration of humanitarian service to two young children appealed to many Jamaicans and my committee, and because we are servicing the police and the communities we thought we would associate ourselves with that kind of humanitarian behaviour".
Meanwhile, Corporal Austin told reporters that she was looking forward to her stay in Detroit.
"I am really looking forward to visiting the schools, universities, training facilities, lock-ups, courts, to have meetings with judges and prosecutor, and other activities," she said.
She added that whatever knowledge and experience that is gained from the experience will redound to the benefit of herself and the JCF.