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Federation wants special cells for detained cops

BY RENAE DIXON Observer staff reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 23, 2014    

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OCHO RIOS, St Ann — Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation Sergeant Raymond Wilson yesterday criticised the placement of policemen in jail cells with other inmates.

"The Police Federation believes that it is cruel and inhumane to put a police officer in a shared cell with four or other prisoners who this police officer has previously arrested," he stated.

According to Wilson, police officers accused of committing crimes in the course of carrying out their duties should be protected when taken into custody.

Wilson, addressing the annual police conference at the Jamaica Grande here, said, while he would have liked that no police officers be arrested, the reality exists that there are those who will be, but they should be protected from other detainees. "When he is arrested, put him in an environment where he is not at risk," he stated.

He called on the security minister to provide a facility to house officers who are charged and have been remanded by the court, but made it clear that he was not requesting that a prison be built for the police.

Wilson pointed out that at times police officers are only held as suspects but are housed with other prisoners. "We believe this is wrong," he stated.

In the meantime, the Police Federation chairman requested that members who are suspected of an offence not be suspended without pay. In fact, he suggested that the officers be kept on duty until at least the director of public prosecutions has ruled they be charged.

He also asked that the Police High Command consider keeping officers being investigated internally on the job, except in cases of public interest or threat to national security.

Some $20 million, he said, was set aside to assist law enforcers who have been charged in securing legal representation.

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